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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Electricity crisis in Gaza gets worse

Egypt apparently sent small amounts of fuel to Gaza's power plant on Friday night, but only about a half-day's worth, according to the chief engineer of Gaza's electric plant Canaan Obeid.

On Thursday he had warned that there was only enough fuel for the power plant to run for 72 hours.

He charged the PA with pressuring Egypt not to send any diesel to Gaza, saying that Mahmoud Abbas insists that the fuel only go through Israeli crossings.

As I reported on Thursday, Hamas has been refusing to receive power plant fuel from Israel since January 2011. And it appears that Hamas has been getting its fuel through smuggling tunnels under Rafah, meaning that it never had a steady supply and it is especially bad now that Egypt is suffering from its own fuel problems and is cracking down on fuel smuggling.

Obeid says, seemingly accurately, that the electricity crisis is "highly political." Just he only blames the PA, when in fact Hamas is at least as guilty by placing its citizens at risk rather than accept fuel from Israel.

We'll see if Gaza goes dark tomorrow.