The Gaza Strip narrowly averted the shutdown of its sole power plant after Israel sent a shipment of one million gallons of diesel to the plant on Wednesday. Israel is Gaza’s sole supplier of fuel, and shipments to the Palestinian territory have been sporadic since militants attacked an Israeli fuel depot earlier this month.
VOICE OF ZAA NKWETA, PRESENTER: A threatened shutdown of Gaza’s only power plant was averted Wednesday after Israel agreed to pump one million liters of diesel fuel to the territory. Mujahed Salameh, the head of the Palestinian Fuel Authority in the West Bank, said one million liters was enough to power the plant for only three days. Gaza energy officials had warned that the plant was in danger of shutting down on Wednesday. The fuel was not delivered. Israel is the sole source of Gaza’s fuel. It often reduces fuel supplies to Gaza as part of a broader economic blockade. Some call it a siege. Tel Aviv claims it is a means to pressure militants to halt rocket attacks on Israeli border communities. With the humanitarian situation close to the brink, Rafiq Maliha, manager of the Gaza Electricity Plant, had this to say:
RAFIQ MALIHA, MANAGER, GAZA ELECTRICITY PLANT: It is important to have continuous fuel supply regardless, I mean, of any political situation. We are serving normal civilians in that area. I mean, we have no political role, and we appreciate if this power plant, if this could be isolated from any conflict.
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