'Gaza energy crisis remains despite Egypt deal'

Egypt has not determined route to provide fuel to Gaza, Ma'an reports; Gaza sole power plant shuts down 2nd time this month.

Gaza smuggling tunnel 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS)
Gaza smuggling tunnel 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The energy authorities in the Gaza Strip announced Tuesday that they shut down the coastal territory's sole power plant for the second time in two weeks due to a fuel shortage, despite a deal signed between Egypt and Hamas to end the Gaza energy crisis.
Part of the agreement inked by Egyptian and Gazan officials stipulated that Egypt would increase the amount of energy provided to the strip from 17 megawatts to 22 megawatts, and that it would provide emergency diesel to Gaza's sole power plant. Egypt was to determine a route for delivering fuel.
At the same time that Gaza announced it had to shut down its power plant on Tuesday, Ma'an reported that Egypt had stopped four trucks from delivering fuel to Gaza via an underground network of tunnels near the border city of Rafah, a means of import which provides the Hamas government with tax revenue.
While Hamas signed the deal with Egypt to bring Gaza out of the current crisis, Cairo still has not determined the best route to deliver the requisite fuel, according to the report.
Gaza's refusal to allow Egyptian fuel to arrive via the Kerem Shalom crossing with Israel has also exacerbated the electricity crisis in the Strip.
And while Egypt agreed to provide Gaza with emergency fuel as part of the three-phase deal for solving the Strip's energy crisis, Hamas warned that the first phase would only provide temporary relief.