Turkey Plans to Send Power-generating Ship to Gaza

Shipbuilder says vessel could sail for the Strip within four months.

Flames engulf the fuel tanks of the only power plant supplying electricity to the Gaza Strip, July 29, 2014, in the south of Gaza City.AFP

The Gaza Strip's electricity network was severely damaged during Israel's seven-week conflict with Hamas, and Turkey is stepping into the breach.

Turkey's consul-general in Jerusalem, Mustafa Sarnic, was quoted on Wednesday by the Istanbul website Daily Sabah as saying that the country planned to send a power-generating ship to help supply power to the Strip.

The idea was suggested by Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, Sarnic said.

A Palestinian delegation visited Turkey last week for talks regarding the proposal, and if an agreement is reached, the ship would provide 80 to 100 megawatts for Gaza, he noted. 

On Friday, Daily Sabah reported that the chairman of the shipbuilder Karkey, Orhan Karadeniz, said that if permits for a crew can be obtained, a power-supply ship could sail for Gaza within four months.

Yasin Suudi, regional director of Karkey's parent, Karadeniz Holding, told the website that "considering the nature of the project, certain permission could be granted from the Palestinian and Israeli authorities" to implement it. International organizations also will play a role in the ship project, Suudi said.

Late in July, during Israel's Operation Protective Edge, Israeli forces hit Gaza's main power plant and cut power to many parts of the Strip.