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Taxes on fuel paralyze Gaza’s only power plant

By imposing the so-called blue tax on industrial diesel before it is sold in Gaza, the national consensus government in Ramallah is effectively paralyzing the only electrical power plant in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian policemen loyal to Hamas keep guard as a fuel tanker arrives to Gaza's power plant in the central Gaza Strip December 15, 2013. Israel allowed the entry of 450,000 litres (119,000 U.S. gallons) of fuel, paid for by Qatar, into the Gaza Strip on Sunday to enable the Palestinian territory's sole power plant to resume operations. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA - Tags: ENERGY SOCIETY) - RTX16JDL
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Political conflicts are impeding solving the various crises in the Gaza Strip, such as the unpaid wages of government employees, the closing of the Rafah crossing and the purchase of industrial fuel for Gaza’s power plant. The consensus government in Ramallah is imposing a tax — dubbed the “blue tax” — on industrial diesel before it is sold in Gaza.

The deputy director of the Palestinian Energy Authority (PEA) in the Gaza Strip, Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, called for the complete cancellation of this tax on the power plant’s diesel, thus allowing the plant to operate for several additional hours. However, President of the Palestinian Petroleum Agency in Ramallah Fuad Shobaki refused this option and said fuel is stored at Gaza’s power plant.

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