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Wed Feb 15, 2012, 03:53 PM

Gaza Strip Fuel Shortage Forces Power Shutdown [View all]

February 15, 2012

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip—Palestinian energy officials say fuel shortages have forced them to shutter the Gaza Strip's lone power plant, causing blackouts in the impoverished territory.

Gaza's energy authority has until recently relied on fuel smuggled from Egypt to circumvent an Israeli blockade. But shortages in Egypt have halted the smuggling.

Gaza's power plant director Walid Sayel said Wednesday he placed some blame for the crisis on infighting with the rival Palestinian government in the West Bank.

Officials have called on the West Bank government to renew money transfers to the territory. This could buy fuel from the Egyptian government, sidestepping reliance on the black market.



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