First Published: 2010-08-26


Gaza power plant reopens after Hamas does deal


Hamas rulers reach agreement on Gaza fuel payments to rival Palestinian Authority.


Middle East Online

'Allowing a second turbine to go into operation'

GAZA CITY - The Gaza Strip's sole power plant resumed generating on Wednesday after the territory's Hamas rulers reached agreement on fuel payments to the rival Palestinian Authority, both sides said.

"Fuel was introduced into the electricity plant today, allowing a second turbine to go into operation" and permitting electricity generation to resume, said Suheil Skeik, head of the Gaza power distribution company.

On Tuesday, the office of Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad said Skeik's agency had transferred some two million dollars to the bank account of the Palestinian Authority, which is responsible for buying the fuel.

That was confirmed by Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nunu.

The plant, which provides 25 percent of Gaza's power, was forced to shut down on August 7 because of the payment dispute between Hamas and the rival Palestinian administration in the West Bank.

The power plant has closed down on several occasions in the past because of fuel shortages.

Israel supplies about 70 percent of Gaza's power and Egypt provides five percent, with the remainder coming from the power plant, which even when it is running frequently has to ration electricity supply because of fuel shortages.

Hamas and the PA have been fiercely divided since the Islamists violently seized power in Gaza in 2007.


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