‘Gaza’s only power plant will run out of fuel’

The Palestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority (PNERA) has warned that the Gaza Strip’s only power plant would run out of fuel by Tuesday due to Israel shutting down the border crossing last week.

In a statement on Sunday, Zafer Milhem, head of the PNERA, said the Gaza Strip’s only power plant would stop operating if no fuel is imported through Israeli controlled crossings, warning of grave consequences on vital sectors.

The statement said that the closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing, which is the commercial border crossing between Israel and Gaza, is the reason why no industrial fuel to run Gaza’s only power plant has been allowed in since August 12.

Power supply deficit in the coastal enclave is over 75 per cent, according to the statement by PNERA, which could cripple all aspects of life in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Milhem urged the international community to shoulder its responsibilities in preventing what he described as “disastrous consequences”.

On August 11, Israel closed the Kerem Shalom cargo crossing with the Gaza Strip, after militants in the besieged Palestinian enclave launched incendiary balloons into Israeli territory.

In this attack, there were more than 30 fires.

Over the past few days, unknown masked young men have been launching incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip into Israel and some of the balloons carried small amounts of explosives.

Launching incendiary balloons into Israel caused large fires in the agricultural fields and farms in southern Israel and the vicinity of the border areas between Gaza and Israel.

Besides closing the border crossing, Israel has also halted fuel supply and reduced Gaza’s fishing zone in retaliation.

The Israeli government has held the Islamic Hamas movement responsible for launching the balloons that caused fear to the populations and severe damage to the agriculture sector.