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Electricity crisis expected in Gaza as Qatar-donated fuel runs dry
Published Sunday 09/03/2014 (updated) 17/03/2014 09:41
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GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The last shipment of Qatar-donated diesel -- used to fuel the Gaza Strip's sole power plant -- is expected to run out within four or five days, a Palestinian official said Sunday.

The announcement comes after only around two months of steady electricity in the besieged coastal enclave, which suffers from a severe lack of fuel due to a seven-year-long economic blockade enforced jointly by Israel and Egypt.

Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, deputy chairperson of the Gaza power authority, told Ma'an Sunday that the Qatari donation had helped operate two generators and made electricity available on the basis of eight hours on, eight hours off.

As the last of the fuel runs out, power availability will be reduced to six hours on, twelve hours off, as before the fuel was donated, Khalil said.

"We asked the Ramallah government to provide Gaza's power plant with tax-free fuel because the money we collect in electricity bills isn't enough to buy fuel to run two generators," he said.

Khalil added that the chairman of the power authority in Ramallah, Omar Kittana, "has been trying to convince the minister of finance to sell Gaza tax-free fuel for a year or half a year."

Qatar donated $10 million to Hamas authorities in Gaza for fuel in the wake of the humanitarian crisis caused by severe weather in the region in December.

But even before winter storm Alexa, Gaza had experienced extreme fuel shortages that cut off access to basic necessities for Gaza residents since early November.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2006. Although enforcement from the Egyptian side eased following the 2011 revolution, since the July ouster of democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi military authorities have tightened control.

The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gazans.
1 ) Bright / Dark
09/03/2014 15:39
Ramallah government owes Israel more than $300M for already used in the West bank electricity. They are not in position to give anything to Gaza - power will be turned off for West bank in next weeks until they pay their debt. If Gazans want to have electricity they should start working, focus on making something useful - something they can sell to someone for money and use those money to pay for fuel or electricity. But they like to make missiles-no wonder they do not have money to pay for fuel

2 ) Any chance HAMAS will divert / some of the ROCKETS
09/03/2014 16:27
money to buy electricity? Nahhhhh....

3 ) Mel / USA
09/03/2014 17:11
Colonial GCC'Roils'were given their colonial borders,used their RESOURCES(over a century) to jump from tradition to Cessna's & Porsches,while continuing to serve western(oil)masters for military might,while majority Arab people stayed in poverty,starvation/dehydration as REFUGEES from WESTERN ATTACKS!Careful 'Sheikies',your black-gold is running DRY!You're passed PEAK! Pumping more salt-water than crude! 2 Million Gazan(1 million children)REFUGEES! Humans,not POLITICS! TRUE BENEFICIENCE NOW!

4 ) @ Hamas / Reality
09/03/2014 17:14
Hamas needs to accept reality, and end the fantasy !! The Solution to the Electricity crisis expected in Gaza is Ending The Resistance and Beginning A Peace Process, just like the PLO in the Areas A and B, which at least has lead to more normal lives, if not real statehood.

5 ) Rondo Mondo / Canada
09/03/2014 17:23
Hamas cannot afford to buy fuel for its people but it can afford 10s of millions of dollars for rockets shipped from Iran which Israel intercepted on March 5, 2015. A Hamas commander blew himself up in a work accident teaching, incorrectly, how to handle explosives and make bombs. Apparently there is lots of money for making bombs but not for electricity for the people. Hamas has lots of money for building tunnels but not for electricity. These are the choices Pallestinian leaders make.

6 ) @ All The Militants / All The Blame
09/03/2014 20:01
- Before Islamic militants thought firing rockets at Israel was a good idea, there was prosperity and trade in Gaza, and No blockade, but - The Islamic militants cared more about terrorizing and killing a few Jews, than the welfare of the people of Gaza, so now - The by-product of a blockade, that severely limits weapons flowing to Islamic militants, is justifiably and legally a hardship for Gazans, and - THE ONLY WAY OUT OF THE SITUATION IS A PEACE PROCESS.

7 ) Johnny benson / USA
09/03/2014 20:46
Why not ask Iran?....instead of rockets.....or Mel and his bunch...tell you what ..I will kick in double what they will donate....or how about all the Arabs in America putting together a fuel drive?....or at least a candle drive...

8 ) spb / usa
09/03/2014 20:54
nothing to do with the seige. there was not a single day electricity was not supplied by Israel to gaza. throughout israel is providing in excess of 60% of total electricity needs. They facts can be verified. the problem is with the 2 other sources, Egypt may stop pending attacks in sinai. Gaza power plant can work whenever fuel is shipped. there's the main problem. if nobody donate power plant is off. after all gazens can only accept free lunch

9 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
09/03/2014 21:00
Time for Colin and Maureen to lead the fight to free Gaza and let Hamas rule the way it wants to. I want to see Colin and Maureen armed to the teeth with their fingers on the triggers to fire the thousands of rockets to start the end of zionism and kill off all those ugly dirty zionists to the last man, woman and child - unless the zionists cry 'uncle' first. If they cry uncle nobody thinks Hamas will stop the slaughter. Then Maureen and Colin can convert and live the perfect islamic life.

10 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/03/2014 21:48
Jeepers. Well, Israel asserts all the prerogatives of sovereignty over Gaza whenever it pleases her, so that makes her the occupying power. She is therefore responsible for the well-being of the inhabitants. So she'd best get them some fuel, pronto.

11 ) Eldad / USA
10/03/2014 18:34
One more time: THERE ARE NO LIMITATIONS ON THE AMOUNT OF FUEL GOING TO GAZA FROM ISRAEL. All the fuel that Gazans want to pay for can get transferred. Nothing to do with a "blockade." Israel even recently increased its capacity to transfer fuel through Kerem Shalom. Hamas wants free or subsidized fuel, but if it is willing to pay market rates, it can have all it needs. When will Ma'an stop lying about this?

12 ) Outlier / USA
10/03/2014 22:01
Hamas is responsible for the problem and Hamas is responsible for solving the problem. If Hamas is as smart as it think, it can solve this easily. If not, expect lots of cursing the darkness.

13 ) Jane Heerden / UK
12/03/2014 06:56
Strange how most people in the USA have an incorrect, weird and twisted way of thinking about the Israel/ Palestine situation! Your ignorance is quite overwhelming!!!! Guess your gullible to the biased media and Israeli 'spin' that's fed to you daily by an American media that works for the Jewish lobby. Poor you... for your ignorance and lack of knowledge. Try listening to other sources of news information from around the world....then you can make judgements and reasonable comments!!

14 ) Mel / USA
15/03/2014 19:31
p.s.:Eldad/USA: "...NO LIMITATIONS..."? Well,let's see? If Saudi Arabia jacked up the price of our US fuel to X4 the global market price&you were out of work,bombed,in a Saudi-controlled refugee ghetto,how would YOU pay?You know very well,that Israel's fuel comes at X4 the global price,to occupied/blockaded PALS,who have no FREE mobility,income,economy(delibarated by Zionists).Don't sound like such a Nazi moron! It belittles you,as a human &American.No wonder Israel's imploding!
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