Egypt stops smuggling of fuel into Gaza Strip resulting in semi-shutdown of Gaza power station.
Israel has recently approached senior officials in the Palestinian Authority offering to sell the PA enough diesel oil to keep the power plant operating, but the Palestinians are refusing.Hamas also rejects Egypt fuel offer.
3 Grad rockets explode near Beersheba - Day after two Gaza rockets fired at Ashkelon and Eshkol Regional Council, another projectile explodes outside Negev city. IDF attacks Gaza lathe following rocket fire-
Palestinians report two people lightly hurt in Air Force strike following firing of three rockets at Beersheba
Gaza is suffering a major energy crisis. Since Tuesday and in the midst of plummeting temperatures Gaza's power station has been operating for only several hours a day, as locals are subjected to power cuts lasting as many as 12 hours a day.
Israel has recently approached senior officials in the Palestinian Authority offering to sell the PA enough diesel oil to keep the power plant operating, but the Palestinians are refusing, Ynet learned.
The Gaza Strip is entirely dependant on the oil-fired power station. Egypt has recently closed smuggling tunnels through which fuel was smuggled into the Strip.
Until 2010, the Palestinian Authority purchased diesel oil from Israel through a deal with Dor Alon paid for by the European Union. Ramallah and Gaza began fighting on energy supply after Europe stopped its funding of the deal.
Palestinian sources are pointing to three explanations for the cessation of fuel supply: Recent attacks by Bedouin tribes and terror cells against Egyptian elements; Egypt's desire to increase profits on fuel; and an attempt by Cairo to signal to Hamas to accept Mahmoud Abbas as head of the provisional Palestinian government. They explained that Cairo knew what points in Gaza to pressure when dissatisfied with Hamas' conduct.
Meanwhile, reports suggesting that the energy crisis is a sham are starting to surface in Gaza. Khalil Abu Shamala, director of the Addameer Center for Human Rights said that Gaza has enough diesel oil to operate the power station and that a large amount of fuel was transferred into the Strip earlier this week. Gaza's energy authority denied the claims.
Hamas leaders rejected an offer by Egypt to deliver gas to the Gaza Strip power station on Saturday, four days into a major energy crisis that has taken a hold of the coastal territory.
According to Ahmad Abu al-Amrin, a representative from the Gaza energy authority, the proposal was rejected due to Hamas’ previous experience with the “Zionist occupation” and the way in which Israel controls the flow of goods into Gaza.
IDF attacks Gaza lathe following rocket fire - Air Force jets attacked a weapons factory in the northern Gaza Strip in Saturday following the firing of three Grad rockets at south Israel. Medical sources in Gaza said that two people were lightly injured in the attack.
Palestinian sources reported that the IAF attacked a lathe in the Zeitun neighborhood, east of Gaza City. Anticipating an IDF attack, Hamas' security forces evacuated their camps ahead of time.
Earlier on Saturday, three Grad rockets exploded in open areas near Beersheba. No injuries or damage were reported.
On Friday, a Qassam rocket fired from Gaza exploded south of Ashkelon. No injuries or damage were reported.
Some 90 minutes later, it was reported that a Qassam rocket hit the Eshkol Regional Council. There were no injuries or damage.
Photos: Gaza city, Rockets launched from Gaza -
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