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Energy Authority: UNRWA-mediated proposal to relieve electricity crisis
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Gaza, ALRAY - An official in the Energy Authority said the authority submitted a proposal to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to buy fuel from the Israeli occupation to run the Gaza power plant.

Deputy Chairman of the Energy Authority Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil told ALRAY Sunday that "the UNRWA shall buy fuel from the Israeli side and Qatar pledge to pay for the differences between Gaza and West Bank in the price of diesel fuel,"

"The UNRWA delivered the proposal to the Israeli side on Wednesday and has not received any response to it until now," Sheikh Khalil pointed out. 

He explained that "in the event UNRWA manages to buy the required quantities of fuel to run the power plant, the old timetable of the power cuts shall be effective again [eight-hour power cut a day],"

"The authority is on constant contact with international organizations in the Gaza Strip to negotiate a solution to the blackouts that last for long hours," the official stressed, adding that "the government, for its part, has contacted foreign countries to curb the crisis,"

The lone power plant in Gaza has been on a complete halt for the 17th day in a row for the lack of the diesel fuel needed to run it. The problem had worsened when the Ramallah authority imposed an additional tax on diesel fuel it imports from (Israel).

The Gaza Strip's only power station supplies the Palestinian enclave with up to two-thirds of its energy needs. It needs 600,000 liters of fuel a day to keep running.

Gaza's energy sector is crippled by a ban on importing materials for locally implemented construction, leaving power stations unable to function. The plant suffered damage in Israeli attacks on Gaza in 2008 and 2006.

The electricity crisis has impacted many sectors; significantly environment and health. Observers warned of a disaster that could happen should not a solution to the problem is reached soon.

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