15 February '12..
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 neighbouring 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.
“We are sorry to announce that we are unable to provide hospitals, education premises, water pumps and waste water facilities and all other fields of life with the enough quantities of electricity,” said Abu Al-Amrain, information director at the Energy Authority.
He urged Egypt to allow more fuel into Gaza, but did not explain what had caused the sudden drop in the flows.
The reason, as I have reported, is that Egypt cracked down on fuel smuggling from the Sinai to Gaza, as it is suffering its own fuel shortages.
Locals said in normal circumstances a fleet of trucks arrived at the Egyptian side of the border and pumped fuel through pipes in the smuggling tunnel that led into Gaza.
Israel provides the Mediterranean territory with at least 35 percent of its energy needs, but closed off its own fuel pipeline into the enclave in January 2010.
Israel closed the Nahal Oz pipeline in January 2010 - but it kept the Kerem Shalom pipeline, and even built a new one there with double the capacity.
(Read full "Media missing the real story on Gaza blackouts")
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