Palestinian officials warn of humanitarian crisis due to Gaza blackout

15:07, April 12, 2010      

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by Emad Drimly, Saud Abu Ramadan

Palestinian officials on Sunday warned that mounting blackout in the Gaza Strip, ruled by Islamic Hamas movement, would lead to a critical humanitarian crisis in the impoverished enclave.

Yasser al-Wadeya, head of the Palestinian independent figures, told an urgent meeting of the Gaza-based political factions held in Gaza that the blackout in the Gaza Strip has endangered daily life, adding that over 3,000 water wells have completely stopped pumping water.

"Farms, factories and hospitals have been badly affected since the electricity crisis intensified," al-Wadeya said, adding that " most of the frozen food supplies have stopped, as well as dairy and chicken products."

Gaza's sole power station was forced to shut down on Friday morning due to a lack of industrial fuel.

Since Friday, the number of hours during which the electricity goes off each day has greatly increased. The Hamas government in Gaza and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in Ramallah traded accusations over whom to blame for the crisis.

Officials of the Hamas-ruled Palestinian Energy Authority (PEA) accused the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in Ramallah for being behind the crisis.

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