World Bulletin / News Desk
The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip on Sunday blamed the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority for a severe electricity crisis in the coastal enclave.
"This is a politically-motivated crisis and some of the obstacles we face are the taxes imposed by the PA and its attempt to use the crisis as a bargaining chip," Ihab al-Ghaseen, spokesman for the Gaza government, told a press conference.
He said that the frequent power outages in the strip are attributed to the lack of diesel fuel needed to operate the enclave's sole power plant.
The power plant, which supplies about a third of Gaza's electricity needs, suffers repeated shutdowns over the lack of fuel.
The station needs 650,000 liters of diesel for daily operations.
It generates 65 megawatts of electricity, depending on the fuel availability.
But providing the necessary fuel has become a tough mission, especially after an Egyptian army crackdown led to the closure of smuggle border tunnels since the July 3 ouster of elected President Mohamed Morsi.
Tunnel owners say that around 400,000 liters of diesel used to enter Gaza via underground tunnels every day.
Gaza gets 120 megawatts of electricity from Israel and buys 28 megawatts from Egypt, according to the Gaza Energy Authority.
The PA says it pays the electricity bill to Israel, but al-Ghaseen dismissed the claim.
"These are sheer lies," he claimed.
"The PA deducts electricity fees from Gaza employees, but the funds never reach the electricity company," charged the Gaza government spokesman.
He also urged Egyptian authorities to allow the entry of 12 million liters of Qatari-donated fuel, an amount, he said, can operate the power plant for three months.Last Mod: 10 Kasım 2013, 17:29