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Gaza power plant shuts down due to severe fuel shortage
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08:58, December 08, 2008

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The sole power plant in the Gaza Strip had shut down again on Sunday after running out of the limited amount of industrial fuels that was allowed last week for one day only, a Palestinian officials said.

"The limited amounts of diesel to re-operate Gaza power plant, which Israel allowed last week for one day only, has ran out and the power plant has completely stopped," said Kan'an Obaid, deputy director of Palestinian Energy Authority.

"All Gaza City and parts of central Gaza Strip won't have electricity after the power plant has shut down," Obaid said, adding "those areas would be in complete blackout by Sunday night until new amounts of diesel are allowed."

Israel sealed off the Gaza Strip on Nov. 5 after the surge of anew wave of violence, withholding European-funded diesel from reaching the power plant which produces 25 percent of the territory's electricity.

The Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip will be completely dependant on the power that Israel and Egypt directly sell. However, overload damaged some of the networks and widened the shortage.

Last week, Israel allowed several shipments of diesel into Gaza but the Palestinian officials said the amount could keep the power plant running only for 30 hours.

The Israeli military operations, the ensuing Palestinian rocket attacks and the closure of the crossings violated the core point of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that took effect in June between Hamas and Israel.

Israel was testing the situation on the ground to decide whether to open the crossing points into Gaza, but rockets that landed on Saturday and Sunday into Israel's coastal city of Ashkelon left the crossings closed.


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