Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai is warning that the diesel fuel donated by Qatar to enable the operation of the Gaza Strip’s only power station will run out on April 14. According to Mordechai, the enclave is facing yet another power supply crisis, as electricity production was halted in January due to a dispute between the Hamas rulers of Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank over which of them should pay for the fuel.
The Gaza power station supplies 30% of the electric consumption in the Strip. Sixty percent is provided by high-voltage power lines from Israel, and Egypt supplies an additional 10% to the southern portion of Gaza. When the power plant ground to a stop in January, residents had power for only three hours a day. The shortage brought thousands of angry demonstrators out into the streets. For the first time since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip they were not afraid to point an accusatory finger at Hamas, but the protest was crushed by the movement’s security forces. The crisis was temporarily resolved after Qatar pledged mid-January $12 million to the Palestinian Authority to pay for fuel and enable the resumption of power production — a donation that will only suffice until the end of the week.