Gaza power plant shuts down for third time in a month

The Gaza Strip's sole power plant shut down on Saturday for the third time in a month due to a shortage of fuel, the territory's energy authority said.

The plant, which supplies close to a third of the electricity in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip, shut down on February 14 because of an interruption in the supply of fuel to the territory. Operations resumed partially on February 21.

"Means must be found to ensure that enough fuel supplies reach the power station in order to ease the hardships of the Palestinian people," the energy authority statement read.

In February, the Hamas rulers of Gaza announced they had reached a "comprehensive agreement" with Egypt to permanently end the electricity crisis in Gaza, in a three-stage deal that would include increased fuel and electricity deliveries. Before the deal was announced, Egypt had already said it would provide an extra 22 megawatts of electricity to the Gaza Strip.

Gaza has long suffered outages because of shortages at its power plant, which has a maximum capacity of 140 megawatts but for some years has only been able to generate around half of that when operational.

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