News, August , 2007
Gazans Suffer Without Electricity as EU Joins the US-Israeli Embargo on Gaza Strip
Gaza power station stops functioning
[ 19/08/2007 - 07:25 PM ]
The sole power station in Gaza Strip stopped functioning as of 11.00 am local time Sunday due to the lack of fuel supplies provided by Israel, the station's administration announced in a press release.
The statement said that the administration made contacts with concerned parties and that Israel affirmed that security reasons for halting fuel supplies over the past three days were over. Israel said that it informed the EU, which pays the price of the fuel, in order to resume supplies but the EU said it would not pay anymore for those provisions and did not explain the reason, the statement explained.
It said that the electricity cutoff would affect one third of the Gaza 1.5 million population and could lead to halting work in hospitals, sewerage stations and water wells, and underlined that the stoppage could also disrupt and possibly damage the electricity generators.
The statement said that the Gaza power station should be spared political rivalry.
Saadi Al-Kuranz, the secretary of the illegal Salam Fayyad government, had claimed that the executive force in Gaza was stealing the station's fuel. The allegation was refuted by sources in the station that said the fuel could not be used for any other purpose.
Kuranz, according to Palestinian sources, was exerting persistent efforts in a bid to cut off electricity supply to Gaza to pressure Hamas Movement.
EU stopped financing Gaza electric company after Hamas take-over, Palestinian information minister says
Date: 20 / 08 / 2007 Time: 10:51
Ramallah – Ma'an –
The European Union stopped financing the energy company which supplies fuel to the Gaza Strip electricity company after Hamas forced the company's executives out and took control, according to the Palestinian Minister of Information, Dr Riyad Al Maliki.
At a press conference in Ramallah on Sunday Dr Al Maliki announced that the European Union stopped paying money to the Israeli Dor Alon Energy Company which supplies fuel to Gaza Power Generating Company after Hamas took over the company. He also accused Hamas of "stealing the company's money."
"The EU will not back down on its decision before Hamas backs down on its control over the power company," Al-Maliki said.
He added that "the Palestinian caretaker government will coordinate with the Egyptians in order to increase electricity supplied from Egypt so as to cover the central Gaza Strip. Furthermore, the government will ask the Israeli power company to increase power supply in order to cover the northern Gaza Strip."
However, he admitted that the chances of increasing the power supply from Egypt and Israel were slim.
Power was cut for almost half of the Gaza Strip on Friday night when the power company shut down three of its four generators after Israel closed the Nahal Oz fuel crossing. On Sunday the fourth generator was also shut down, further increasing the power outage across the Gaza Strip.
EU Spokeswoman Alix de Mauny told Ma'an that the security situation was still being assessed before the EU would resume the financing of fuel deliveries to the Gaza Strip.
"Following security concerns during the last few days, we've taken the opportunity to assess the situation to make sure all elements for a high level of accountability are in place," she said.
She said that the assessment was due to be completed in the next 24 to 48 hours. "We hope on the back of that we would be able to resume our supply of delivery of fuel to Gaza," she added, pointing out that only 25-30% of the power supply to the Gaza Strip is funded by the EU.
Hamas Bloc accuses Fayyad's government of cutting off power from Gaza
[ 20/08/2007 - 11:22 AM ]
The parliamentary Hamas affiliated "Change and Reform" Bloc accused Salaam Fayyad's unconstitutional government of instigating the EU not to provide the necessary fuel for the operation of Gaza electricity company.
"The scenario was prepared in Ramallah where Ryadh al-Maliki and Sadi al-Karnaz, the ministers of Fayyad's government, collaborated in the fabrication of charges and preparation for such incitement," MP Yahya Moussa said during a press conference held on Sunday.
Yahya Moussa added: "They accused the executive force of collecting funds in its favor and of using these funds to finance the Palestinian resistance so as to instigate the Europeans and make them refrain from supplying the power plant with fuel,"
He confirmed that the electricity company is a private company and its funds are deposited in its own bank accounts.
The Gaza power company had announced a work stoppage at the plant at 11 am on Sunday due to lack of fuel supply to operate the generators despite the approval of the IOA to transfer the necessary fuel.
The company explained that upon asking the European side, it was informed that the EU would stop providing fuel for the power plant for unknown reasons, which may cause a human catastrophe in the event of failure to operate hospitals, wastewater treatment plants and water wells; besides, long term stoppage could be damaging to turbines.
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