Israel to extend gas pipeline to Gaza power plant

"The Israeli occupation has agreed to extend a direct natural gas pipeline to operate Gaza's power plant," Haniyeh said in a Friday sermon delivered at a Gaza mosque.

Israel to extend gas pipeline to Gaza power plant

World Bulletin / News Desk

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said Friday that Israel had agreed to extend a pipeline to provide the Gaza Strip's sole power plant with natural gas.

"The cost of extending the line from Israel to the center of the Gaza Strip is close to $25 million; Qatar has agreed to fund the project," Haniyeh said.

The Hamas leader also stressed his movement's rejection of any "manipulation of the electricity crisis [for political reasons], which has caused the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza for many years."

Gaza, which has been blockaded by Israel since 2007, continues to be plagued by a chronic electricity crisis.

Since 2012, a rotation system has been used to deliver electricity to homes in the Gaza Strip. Electricity is delivered to some homes for eight hours before being cut off and delivered to other homes for eight hours.

Among the factors that exacerbate Gaza's electricity crisis are problems with the strip's infrastructure, the shortage of industrial fuel required to generate electricity, and technical issues with Gaza's only functioning power plant.

During the last Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip, which lasted for 51 days and left 2,160 Palestinians dead, the strip's sole power plant went out of service after its main fuel tank was targeted by Israeli airstrikes.

Even though the plant remains functional, it has stopped running due to Gaza's chronic fuel shortage.

The Gaza Strip requires 360 megawatts of electricity – of which only 200 megawatts are currently available – to meet the needs of its roughly 1.9 million residents.

Gaza currently has three sources of electricity: Israel, which provides 120 megawatts; Egypt, which supplies 28 megawatts; and Gaza's power plant, which generates between 40 and 60 megawatts.

Last April, rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation agreement that led to the formation of a unity government in June.

The new government, however, has yet to assume political responsibility for the Gaza Strip, which has been run by Hamas since 2007.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Mart 2015, 17:11