Publication Date : Tuesday 11 March 2014 17:48
Gaza power plant under threat of shutting down
The sole power plant in the Gaza Strip is under the threat of shutting down as it runs out of fuel due to the Israeli blockade, Press TV reports.
Reporting from Gaza, our correspondent Hala al-Safadi said the shortage could force the facility to shut down on Friday in the coastal enclave, home to a population of more than 1.5 million people.
“There is a huge shortage in power. The power available does not fulfill even 50 percent of the needs. We expect that by the end of the week the crisis will hit deep. This comes as we suffer the Israeli blockade and the fuel shortage due to the closure of the crossings,” said Jamal al-Dardasawi from the Gaza power distribution company.
For the past few years, under the Israeli blockade many areas in Gaza have remained without electricity for 12 hours a day, said our reporter.
“Since June 2013, the economy in Gaza has been deteriorating and with the power crisis now the already-terrible economy will only get worse. This will lead the factories and markets to use generators and to purchase expensive Israeli fuel. The average Gazan will pay the price. The power crisis is indeed a political crisis that needs to be solved,” said economic analyst Sameer Abu-Mubadala.
Gaza has been blockaded since June 2007, which is a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.
According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, joblessness in the Gaza Strip jumped to 38.5 percent at the end of last year from 32 percent in the third quarter of 2013.
Gazans say Egypt is also supporting the Israeli blockade by closing the Rafah border crossing and is therefore turning Gaza into an open-air prison.
They call on the Egyptian authorities to allow goods and fuel through the Rafah crossing after Egypt’s destruction of tunnels that were lifelines to Gazans.