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Sunday, August 08, 2010

Gaza power plant shuts down - again, not because of Israel

Once again, Gazans are forced to suffer:

A day after Gaza's sole power plant shut down, the Palestinian Authority said it would deduct 25 percent from salaries to cover rising electricity bills.

Palestinian media Sunday reported the Palestinian Ministry of Finance would reassess the situation in September.

On Saturday, power plant officials in Gaza said the shutdown was due to a fuel shortage caused by the Palestinian Authority's refusal to ship sufficient fuel into the coastal enclave for the latest crisis.

Palestinian media said the latest shutdown is the third since January.

A Gaza Power Authority statement said it held Ramallah's finance ministry accountable, because "the government in Ramallah has not paid for industrial diesel, as agreed with the delegation of independent figures who visited Gaza recently," Maan reported.
AP adds:
Gaza's rulers, the militant Islamic group Hamas, are meant to collect utility bills and send the cash to their rivals, the Western-backed Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, which use it to buy the fuel.

Palestinian Authority spokesman Ghassan Khatib says Hamas isn't sending enough money, and on average, they were receiving only $1.3 million a month from the distribution company, while they were paying $9 million for the fuel.

"We need some transparency here. There has to be some kind of audit," Khatib said.
Yet reporters never seem to blame the Palestinian Arab leadership for Gaza's woes. That seems to be exclusively Israel's fault.