Gaza power -  Fadi Adwan
Power outage in Gaza City, August 18, 2007. Photo by Fadi Adwan
Text size

Armed militias in the Sinai hijacked trucks delivering fuel from an Egyptian port city to the Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources told Haaretz on Thursday, causing the Strip's depleted power station to cease functioning later Wednesday night.

The trucks were scheduled to deliver 150,000 liters of fuel destined for Gaza's power station, which was sent from Qatar to the Egyptian port town of Arish.

According to Palestinian sources in the Gaza Strip, however, some of the trucks were attacked by armed militias, who then stole or burnt them down. This ultimately led to authorities in Gaza to shut down the Strip's power station over a lack in fuel.

By Thursday evening, however, all 150,000 liters of fuel made it from Qatar to power station in Gaza.

In response to the attack, Egypt sent emergency reinforcements to the region early Thursday, geared at providing the fuel convoy with safe passage through the desert peninsula.

As a result of Egyptian efforts, trucks began arriving at the Egyptian side of the border with Gaza.

Hamas officials speaking to the Palestinian news agency Ma'an, however, blamed Israel, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority for the delay in fuel supply, saying that the shipment was being delayed at the border.

"Since the Qatari fuel has not entered, and in light of not having the necessary fuel to maintain the sole power plant in Gaza, the power plant stopped working," Hamas officials told Ma'an.