Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hamas, not Israel, shuts down power plant

Gaza City was plunged into darkness after nightfall Sunday when Hamas officials shut down the territory's only electricity plant, following a cutoff of fuel from Israel.

Israel blockaded Gaza Thursday as a pressure tactic against militants who have been firing rockets at Israel every day. The stricken power plant generates about one third of Gaza's electricity. The rest, which comes from Israel, was not affected by the blockade, Israeli officials said.

But Shlomo Dror, a spokesman for Israel's defense ministry, said Gaza has enough fuel to run the plant, and accused Palestinian officials of trying to create the impression of a crisis that did not exist.

The fuel shortage was a result of Defense Minister Ehud Barak's decision on Thursday to halt all shipments to the Strip. (JP)


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