Qatar pledges $60 million to provide natural gas for Gaza

Qatar pledges $60 million in aid to help provide natural gas to the Gaza Strip, Doha’s envoy to the Palestinian territory says in a statement.

“This amount will be allocated for extending gas pipelines from inside the Israeli side. The European Union has pledged to provide an amount of 20 million euros to complete the extensions inside the Gaza Strip,” Qatari envoy Mohammad al-Emadi says.

Gaza has suffered from a chronic electricity deficit for more than a decade. The coastal enclave has only one power plant — which runs on imported diesel fuel — and experiences daily blackouts of between eight and 12 hours.

Transitioning Gaza from diesel fuel to natural gas is widely seen as important to solving the enclave’s electricity crisis. Talks on a natural gas pipeline have been in the works for years, without a clear timeline; the pipeline is expected to connect Gaza’s power plant to an Israeli offshore power station.

Officials said last week that they hoped the deal would be signed within the next few months.