State offers High Court data on fuel cuts to Gaza

Gov't says cuts won't cause humanitarian crisis; Gisha: Numbers from two years ago unacceptable.

gaza power station 298.8 (photo credit: AP)
gaza power station 298.8
(photo credit: AP)
The state on Monday supplied the High Court of Justice with the data on which it has based its claim that planned fuel cuts to the Gaza Strip will not lead to a humanitarian crisis, Army Radio reported. The fuel cuts are intended as a response to Kassam attacks from Gaza. The state said that according to the data, the planned fuel cuts would not hinder the operation of Gaza's essential facilities. However, it noted that the data it was using dated from 2005, since Israel was no longer in control of the Gaza Strip. The Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, whose petition against the state's plan has lead to the current High Court discussions, responded by saying that the state's use of two-year-old data invalidated its claims. At the beginning of November, the state informed the court that the amount of gasoline allowed into Gaza had been cut from an average of 350,000-400,000 liters per week to 300,000 liters. The government is also considering a further, gradual reduction. Diesel exports were cut from 1.4 million liters per week to 1.2 million liters. The state added that "according to government estimates, "the amount of fuel necessary to fulfill the Gaza Strip's humanitarian needs does not amount to more than 50 percent of the amount supplied today, and this is a conservative estimate which provides a significant safety margin." The state added that the export of diesel for use in Gaza's power station had been reduced from an average of 2.2 million liters to 1.75 million per week. It said that in September, the Palestinians in Gaza had added a third turbine to provide additional power. When only two turbines operate, the power station produces 55 megawatts of electricity. When the third one functions, supply goes up to 63 megawatts. The drop in diesel exports imposed by Israel last week means that the amount of electricity provided for Gaza will return to the pre-September level. Dan Izenberg contributed to this report.