Gaza power plant stops due to smuggled fuel shortage

By REUTERS
February 14, 2012 19:34

 
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GAZA - The Gaza Strip's only power station, which supplies the Palestinian enclave with up to two-thirds of its energy needs, was shut down on Tuesday because of a shortage of fuel smuggled in from neighboring Egypt.

The closure led to widespread blackouts for Gaza's 1.7 million inhabitants. The local power company warned that households would receive only six hours of electricity a day until the problem was resolved.

Gaza's Energy Authority, which is run by the Islamist Hamas group, said "measures taken" on the Egyptian side of the border meant not enough fuel was entering the territory.

It did not provide further details. Some local experts said Hamas had mismanaged Gaza's power needs by failing to provide a viable alternative to the precarious smuggling routes.

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