Lack of fuel grounds Gaza's sole power plant
Published Friday 27/12/2013 (updated) 28/12/2013 14:39
A Palestinian man walks past a power station in Gaza City on
Nov. 2, 2013 (AFP/File Mahmud Hams)
GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Lack of fuel from Israel brought Gaza's lone power plant to a halt on Friday, days after it was fired back to life following a seven-week shutdown, the electricity company said.
"The plant stopped working on Friday morning due to a lack of fuel caused by Israel's closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing," said a company official.
Israel closed the crossing to the besieged Palestinian territory on Tuesday following a series of violent cross-border incidents earlier in the week.
The official said the closure of the power station means that electricity supplies to Gaza would be limited to six hours a day as opposed to the usual 12 hours a day.
The plant, which supplies some 30 percent of Gaza's electricity needs, had previously fallen silent on Nov. 1 as stocks of diesel ran out.
The power station returned to life on Dec. 15 after receiving a delivery of fuel purchased from Israel by the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority using funds donated by Qatar.
The PA helped facilitate the delivery via Israel.
The Kerem Shalom crossing was closed on Tuesday following a series of cross-border exchanges between Israel and Gaza militants after the fatal shooting of an Israeli Civil Defense employee engaged in maintenance work on the northern Israel-Gaza border fence by a Palestinian sniper.
Israel responded by launching air strikes against Gaza, killing a 3-year-old girl.
Ma'an staff contributed to this report.