The Gaza Strip's sole power station stopped generating electricity on Saturday, causing blackouts throughout the territory after it ran out of fuel, officials said.

The power plant is one of the main sources of electricity for Gaza's 1.8 million people and without it, daily blackouts of around 12 hours are expected. Electricity is also received directly from Israel and Egypt.

Gaza lacks much basic civil infrastructure and lives under an Egyptian-Israeli blockade meant to cut off arms flows but which also curbs imports of fuel and building supplies.

A few months ago the plant was switched off for 43 days due to a fuel shortage that arose after neighbouring Egypt closed off smuggling tunnels. Israel eventually allowed in fuel paid for by Qatar when a storm swept the region.

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