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
Gaza City Shuts Off Power Amid Claimed Fuel Shortage
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 of fuel that powers it, a move certain to make life more difficult for the 1.5 million residents...   (Associated Press)

(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. (Read more Israel stories.)

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