GAZA CITY (AFP) – Gaza’s sole power plant has shut down because Israel will not allow the importation of replacement parts needed for urgent repairs, an official in the impoverished Palestinian territory’s energy authority said on Tuesday.
“Despite deliveries of fuel on Monday, the power plant stopped functioning because of breakdowns in the production units,” said Kanaan Obeid, assistant director of the authority.
He said the frequent shutdowns of the plant, caused by fuel shortages, damaged parts of the production units that cannot be replaced because of the Israeli blockade of the territory.
Israel “refuses to allow in the necessary parts and the plant cannot restart without them,” he said.
The power plant, which supplies about 25 percent of Gaza’s energy, has been particularly hard hit by Israel’s decision to tighten the blockade since a surge in violence on November 4, causing blackouts in Gaza City.
Israel supplies about 70 percent of Gaza’s power and Egypt provides five percent.
Nov. 25, 2008