Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Gaza Energy Crisis Averted - For Now

By Mel Frykberg

"RAMALLAH, Feb 9, 2010 (IPS) - Pressure exerted on the Palestinian Authority (PA) by international and regional officials has given Gazans a last minute reprieve, albeit temporary, from plunging into darkness and plummeting temperatures.

"The emergency has been temporarily halted after the PA released urgent funds to finance two fuel tankers entering Gaza on Sunday," says Osama Dabou from Gaza’s Power Plant (GPP) authority.

"We are expecting several other fuel tankers to enter Gaza shortly. But this is only an interim stop-gap and will only last a short while after which the situation will again reach a critical point," Dabou told IPS......

Due to the fuel shortages Gazans have been forced to rely on lower quality fuel smuggled through underground tunnels from Egypt.

However, the power produced by home generators is too weak to be used for heating and can only generally be used for limited periods of cooking and recharging mobile phones.

Gaza’s energy crisis reached a peak this January after the European Union (EU) stopped paying for fuel shipments to the Palestinian territory......"

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