Friday, April 20, 2018

  • Friday, April 20, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Middle East Monitor reported exactly one week ago:

The Palestinian Energy Authority yesterday stopped operations at the only power station in the Gaza Strip due to a lack of fuel to operate it.

“The Energy Authority informed us this afternoon that it had stopped work at the power station because there was no fuel to operate it,” said Mohammad Thabit, director of public relations and information at the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company.

“We currently have 120 megawatts per day coming from Israel after the Egyptian lines stopped working nearly three months ago. We will try with the available energy to maintain the four hour schedule, but the hours of power outage will exceed 12 hours,” he added in an interview with Quds Press.

The company said in a statement on Wednesday that it was “very difficult to collect the necessary revenues to meet the various financial obligations towards energy suppliers as well as the operating costs.”

Ma'an Arabic reported today that since the Palestinian Authority stopped paying salaries to many Gazans, their tax revenue that had come from those employees has been reduced by 4.3 million shekels a month, a significant chunk o fthe 10 million shekels it takes to run the power plant every month.

Gaza has been buying its fuel from Egypt instead of from Israel, even though Israel has built a large fuel pipeline through the Kerem Shalom crossing. Presumably, the Egyptian fuel is cheaper.

I had not read anywhere before that the Egyptian power lines to Gaza have been down for three months. No one seems to be worrying too much about that.

As usual, when Gaza misery cannot be blamed on Israel, the media is essentially silent. However, there is a slight twist to the media silence this time.

AFP, to its credit, did report on this on Monday. It added that "Three hospitals and 16 medical centers had stopped offering key services in recent weeks because of the crippling fuel shortages."

Based on Google News, however, I can only find a single newspaper or news site worldwide that published the AFP story: The Times of Israel.

Meaning that while one of the world's major wire services did report on the story, practically none of the individual news site editors, out of thousands of sites, were interested enough in a Gaza misery story that couldn't be blamed on Israel.

Last year, I noted that while the Gaza power plant usually only about 20 MW per day (compared to the 120 MW that come from Israel), it has the capacity to generate 140 MW per day - if only the fuel was available. The lack of fuel is in no way related to Israel.

If the power plant was running at full capacity, and if Egyptian lines were repaired, there would still be a power deficit in Gaza, but it would be far more manageable - people would have power for 9-10 hours a day instead of 4, which would be enough to keep refrigerators cold, to charge batteries, and to keep hospitals going without relying as much on generators and fuel donations from third parties.

Once again, when Israel cannot be blamed, the media doesn't care.




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