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Egyptian power lines feeding southern Gaza back in operation

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 15:01
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Egyptian power lines feeding southern Gaza back in operation
Oct. 4, 2016 10:30 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 4, 2016 10:30 P.M.)
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=773414

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Gaza Strip’s electricity company Tuesday evening
announced that the Egyptian power lines feeding the southern part of the
besieged enclave were back in operation after being disconnected due to
damage.

An official at the electricity company said that the lines had been fixed,
but would be disconnected temporarily on Wednesday in order for work to be
done on another electricity circuit at a power station in al-Arish.

The official pointed out that the Egyptian power lines feed the southern
Gaza Strip with 20 megawatts of electricity.

According to a statement released by the electricity company on Monday, Gaza‘s
electricity supply was suffering from power outages due to the closure of
Karam Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing during the Jewish holiday of Rosh
Hashanah, through which fuel is imported into the blockaded Palestinian
territory.

Israeli authorities announced Saturday evening that a three-day general
closure would be imposed on all passage between the blockaded Gaza Strip and
Israel, as well as between the occupied West Bank and Israel, during the
holiday.

The Gaza energy authority added that it was trying its best to carry out
maintenance to the damaged lines and use any fuel shipment that could enter
Gaza Strip to provide as much power as possible for the longest amount of
time, while noting that Gaza’s power station was running on only one
generator.

The authority called on all involved parties to provide an uninterrupted
fuel supply to Gaza’s electricity sector and to repair the damaged lines as
soon as possible.

Prior to the border restrictions imposed as a result of the holiday, Kerem
Shalom was closed to fuel imports last month after the crossing was breached
by burglars, and as a result, Gaza’s sole power plant was knocked out of
service for days.

Even at full capacity, Egyptian and Israeli electricity grids, together with
Gaza’s sole power plant, fail to cover the Gaza Strip’s energy needs and
only provide energy to Gaza’s inhabitants for eight hours each day.

The power plant has not run at full capacity in years, with Israel’s
crippling blockade severely limiting fuel imports into the coastal enclave.

The enclave has experienced severe electricity shortages over the years,
exacerbating already dire living conditions in the small Palestinian
territory.

In addition to Gaza’s most recent electricity woes, delivery of cooking gas
to the blockaded coastal enclave was also impeded last week due to
complications with gas pipes running through Kerem Shalom.

Officials at the association of oil and gas companies in Gaza Strip said
Wednesday that gas pipes at the crossing had been changed, installing new
eight-inch pipes as an upgrade to the old four-inch pipes, but the quantity
of gas being pumped through them had not been increased as promised by
Israel.

Gas committee member Nour al-Din al-Khazindar told Ma’an at the time that
Israel has previously agreed to allow 400 tons of gas to be pumped through
the gas line at the crossing, but only 280 tons were being delivered, even
after changing the pipes.

He added that there has been no gas had been pumped into Gaza Strip for five
consecutive days due to the pipe maintenance.

The head of the gas committee Samir Hamada said that the Gaza Strip was
facing a crises due to the lack cooking gas, and the quantity being pumped
did not meet the needs of the people in Gaza Strip.

He added that there were 40 gas stations in Gaza Strip, most of which were
closed due to the lack of gas imports.

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