Gaza City Shuts Off Power Amid Claimed Fuel Shortage

Israelis say move meant to create crisis
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2008 3:17 PM CST
Palestinians drive their cars during a power outage in Gaza City, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2008. Gaza's only electrical plant announced it would shut down Sunday after an Israeli border closure blocked the entry...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Gaza City’s sole power plant has shut down due to what Palestinian officials claim are insufficient fuel supplies, the BBC reports. Israel—which provides 60% of Gaza’s electricity—closed its border last week with the Gaza Strip, preventing the import of virtually all supplies. The move followed a barrage of rocket and mortar attacks after a military incursion Tuesday that killed 18 Palestinians.

Israel claims the shutdown is unnecessary, and that the turbines have stopped “not because of a fuel shortage, but because they want to create the impression of a crisis.” The UN has expressed concern regarding the humanitarian consequences of the shutdown, as at least 800,000 of Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants will be without electricity, according to a plant spokesman.