Hamas-PA financial dispute holding up Gaza fuel transfers

Shortage results in scheduled power outages; J'lem rejects claims that lack of fuel result of Israeli policy over the Succot holiday.

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September 29, 2010 02:20
1 minute read.
Hamas-PA financial dispute holding up Gaza fuel transfers

fuel tank 224.88. (photo credit: Courtesy www.huriyett.com)

 
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A financial dispute between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is upholding the transfer of fuel from Israel to the Gaza Strip for the operation of the power plant there, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The mechanism under which fuel is transferred to the Gaza Strip is slightly convoluted and involves Hamas transferring funds to the PA in Ramallah, which then orders the fuel from the Dor Alon company which transfers it into Gaza via the Kerem Shalom Crossing. The whole process is overseen by the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

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According to data obtained by the Post and confirmed by Israeli defense officials, since September 25 one of the two turbines at the Gaza power plant has been disabled due to a fuel shortage that began a few days earlier. Since September 23, only 0.35 million liters of industrial fuel have been delivered to Gaza. Usually, during this time period, 1.7 million liters is transferred.

As a result, scheduled power outages ranging between 8-12 hours are being imposed all over the Gaza Strip.

Israeli defense officials rejected claims by Hamas officials that the shortage in fuel was a result of Israeli policy over the Succot holiday.

“This is a result of the dispute between Hamas and the PA over money,” one defense official said. “It is another example of how Hamas treats its people.”

The current dispute revolves around an argument over the amount Hamas needs to transfer to the PA. Hamas has transferred a total of NIS 43.7 million since the beginning of the month while the PA is demanding NIS 55 million.

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