Sunday, January 6, 2008

Gaza back to blackout due to Israel-imposed fuel supplies cut, say energy officials

"Gaza Strip has begun to suffer a renewed blackout as power outages still go on due to shortage of fuel supplies after Israel has ruled large reduction of the fuel, it provides Gaza with, on daily basis.

Deputy-head of the Palestinian energy authority, Kan'an Obaid, cited large shortage of the fuel supplies needed to run the Gaza's sole power plant.

Obaid was quoted as saying " we have recently managed to bring one more power transformer from Egypt, however, the transformer can only generate half of the power supply due to cuts of fuel supplies". "We need at least 450.000 liters of fuel to produce 75 megawatts so we can overcome the current blackout". Obaid maintained.

To deal with this emerging crisis, the power plant has set an operation schedule, to distribute the plant's production to the various parts of Gaza Strip, which are connected within a web network.

Obaid confirmed that the electricity cuts will range from 4 to 8 hours daily, in a proportionate way, making up about 25 to 35 percent of the regular daily usage of power.

Obaid called on the European Union, which funds power fuel supplies, to pressure Israel to allow more quantities of fuels in to the coastal territory.

Different parts of Gaza have recently suffered prolonged hours of power supply as winter in Palestine has already begun.

In October2007, Israel ruled large cuts of daily fuel supplies to Gaza, within what Israel say' measures to prevent Palestinians from firing homemade shells onto nearby Israeli towns'.

According to concerned petroleum authorities in Gaza, the cuts of fuel have been estimated at more than 60 percent of Gaza's daily needs'; from 70.0000 liters to 180.0000 liters.

Human rights groups worldwide branded the measure a ' collective punishment policy', as United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon have urged Israel to reconsider its actions against Gaza.

In June2006, Israeli air crafts struck the power plant, damaging four transformers out of six, which used to provide Gaza with 45 percent of electricity, as the remaining quantities are being provided by Israel. "

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