Gaza suffers more power cuts after EU freezes finance

Parts of the Gaza Strip were still suffering power cuts on Sunday after the European Union suspended the financing of fuel deliveries for the impoverished territory's sole power plant.

Gaza suffers more power cuts after EU freezes finance
Parts of the Gaza Strip were still suffering power cuts on Sunday after the European Union suspended the financing of fuel deliveries for the impoverished territory's sole power plant.

The station shut the last of its four generators on Sunday after it did not receive the necessary fuel from Israel, the chief of the plant Rafiq Maliha told AFP.

Israel -- which effectively sealed off Gaza after Hamas seized control of the territory two months ago -- on Sunday allowed deliveries of fuel into the territory following a three-day shutdown for "security concerns" of the main transit point, the Nahal Oz terminal.

But while the flow of fuel for cars, generators and domestic use resumed, the special diesel required for the power plant was not supplied.

The closure of Gaza, which is one of the most densely populated places on the planet with about 1.5 million people, has raised concerns about a humanitarian crisis.

The Israeli company that delivers the fuel into Gaza said the EU -- which finances the supplies -- had made the decision to halt deliveries.

"The European Union is responsible for payment of fuel for the power plant," the Dor Alon company said in a statement. "The EU representative told us not to deliver because there is no guarantee that we will receive payment for today's fuel."

"That is why we are not delivering fuel for the plant," it said.

An EU spokeswoman confirmed that it had suspended the payments on Sunday, but that no permanent decision has been taken.

"The European Union did not finance payments for today, Sunday. A review is ongoing for all parametres of this programme," Alix de Mauny told AFP, without elaborating.

Gaza's power station produces 40 percent of electricity for the coastal strip, according to Laila Abu Ghali of the Palestinian power authority, with another 50 percent coming from Israel and 10 percent from Egypt.

According to Israeli General Nil Press, the head of the Israeli Gaza liason office, the plant makes 25 percent of the territory's electricity, with another 70 percent coming from Israel and another five percent from Egypt.

AFP
Last Mod: 20 Ağustos 2007, 11:35
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