Egypt sends fuel for Gaza's only power plant

World Wednesday 21/June/2017 18:40 PM
By: Times News Service
Egypt sends fuel for Gaza's only power plant

Gaza: Egypt sent fuel on Wednesday to the Gaza Strip's only power plant to help alleviate an energy crisis that has left the Palestinian enclave's two million residents with less than three hours of electricity per day.
The delivery, a sign of improved relations between Hamas and Egypt after years of friction, was the first official import of Egyptian diesel to Gaza since Hamas took over the enclave in 2007 and could provide seven hours of power for three days.
Fuel from Egypt used to be smuggled through tunnels, many of them now destroyed by Cairo, which said they were conduits for weapons and militants battling Egyptian forces in the neighbouring Sinai peninsula - an allegation denied by Hamas.
Gaza's power plant has been off-line for two months due to a payment dispute between the Palestinian Authorit.
Diesel tankers, flying the Egyptian and Palestinian flags, crossed into Gaza two days after the Israeli supply cuts began.
The imports were agreed at talks in Cairo this month between Gaza's Hamas chief, Yehya Al Sinwar, and Egyptian security officials.

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Sources close to those negotiations said the deal was also facilitated by Mohammad Dahlan, a Fatah rival of Abbas living in Abu Dhabi.
Any worsening of the energy crisis could cause the collapse of health services, local health officials said.
Hospitals largely rely on generators for power, as do Gaza residents who can afford the high cost of fuel to run them.
The one million litres (264,000 gallons) in the shipment on Wednesday could be followed by another one million litre delivery later in the day or on Thursday, the Hamas-appointed deputy finance minister in Gaza, Youssef Al Kayali, said.