Tuesday, July 21, 2015

  • Tuesday, July 21, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
We've seen this pattern many times before - internal Palestinian issues stop fuel from going to the Gaza power plant, and people will find a way to blame Israel.

Gaza's sole power plant will stop running Monday evening asit is unable to cover taxes imposed by the national unity government, Gaza's energy authority said.
The unity government waved the tax in a show of good will in the four months to the end of Ramadan, but the Gazan energy authority said in a statement Monday that since the tax has been reinstated it can no longer afford to keep the plant running.

The energy authority added that it had only been able to cover the cost of maintaining the plant during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan and the Eid holiday by borrowing from local companies and taking loans from banks.

The tax imposed on fuel before it is sold to Gaza amounts to a 50 percent price hike on the price of fuel per liter, or 3.5 shekels ($0.91), the statement said.
But they still have to lie:
Although the power plant inside Gaza has a potential output of 120 MW, it has been unable to produce that much due to Israeli restrictions on fuel imports as part of an eight-year blockade.
Wrong. There are no Israeli restrictions on fuel. None at all.

Amnesty told me the same lie a couple of years ago:

When I asked [Amnesty researcher Deborah Hyams] specifically about why Amnesty was calling for Israel to lift restrictions on fuel when there are in fact no restrictions, she said that there are restrictions on some types of fuel. In fact, she told me, it was because Israel refused to provide industrial fuel for Gaza's power plant that Hamas was forced to smuggle regular diesel from Egypt. She did admit that price was a factor.

I explained to her my understanding that Hamas actually retooled the power plant to handle regular diesel smuggled from Egypt because they didn't want to pay Israel and they felt that with the Muslim Brotherhood in power they would have an unlimited supply of subsidized, cheap fuel from Egypt.

Hyams insisted that Israel has restrictions, today, on industrial diesel to Gaza. That is not my understanding and I told her that I've read COGAT reports since at 2009 where they said that they can pump heavy duty diesel for the power plant and Hamas has refused.

Immediately afterwards I called up Guy Inbar from the IDF COGAT unit and asked him if there were any restrictions on any specific type of fuel to Gaza - industrial, petroleum, cooking gas, anything. His answer was an unequivocal "no." The reason Gaza has no fuel is the PA/Hamas disagreements, not because of Israel.

I'm waiting for the staged photos of Gaza kids with candles with captions that blame Israel.

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