World Bulletin / News Desk
A Palestinian official has warned that the embattled Gaza Strip is reeling under an environmental and health disaster after the enclave's only power plant was forced to shut down on Tuesday following an Israeli attack on the facility's fuel depot.
"The Israeli attack against the power plant and the subsequent power outage has led to the halt of the work of wastewater treatment stations as well as lack of drinkable water," Nazar Hegazi, head of Gaza municipality, said.
"The municipalities had to discharge wastewater into the sea without treatment, which might cause a major health crisis," he added.
Fathi Al-Sheikh, the deputy head of Gaza's power authority, told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday that plant was shut down after an Israeli attack hit the facility's fuel depot, noting that the damage in the power plant might take "a whole year" to repair.
Even before the shutdown, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip only had electricity for about three hours a day because fighting had damaged power lines.
Gaza's power plant resumed operations in mid-December following seven weeks of closure due to shortages of the fuel needed to operate it.
Gaza's power plant requires some 650,000 liters of diesel fuel for its daily operations.
Gaza receives 120 megawatts of electricity from Israel each day and buys a further 28 megawatts from Egypt, according to the Gaza Energy Authority.
Since July 7, Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip – from air, land and sea – with devastating bombardments with the ostensible aim of halting rocket fire from the strip.
At least 1359 Palestinians have been killed and more than 7677 others injured in the relentless Israeli attacks on Gaza, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Gaza-based Palestinian factions, meanwhile, have continued to fire rockets at Israeli cities in response to the ongoing Israeli attacks.
At least 56 Israelis – 53 soldiers and three civilians – have been killed since the hostilities began.
Israel's military operation, dubbed operation "Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the densely-populate Gaza Strip – which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – within the last six years.
In 2008/9, over 1500 Palestinians were killed in Israel's three-week-long operation "Cast Lead."Güncelleme Tarihi: 31 Temmuz 2014, 10:08