Officials in the Gaza Strip say the Palestinian Authority (PA) has forced the only operating power generator in the coastal sliver out of work.
The plant was shut down on Saturday after what the Gaza Power Authority (GPA) called the PA’s ‘failure to pay for the fuel,’ the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.
A visiting mission trusted the PA, which is based in the city of Ramallah in the West Bank, to make the payments after a European Union contract funding the fuel shipments expired on November 30, 2009.
The fuel dearth has become more significant ever since, AFP reported.
The GPA said in a statement that the PA "has not paid for industrial diesel, as agreed with the delegation of independent figures who visited Gaza recently."
Meanwhile, spokesman for the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas Fawzi Barhum said, "We are asking the donors, the European Union, to discuss resuming direct funding for the fuel."
Hamas has also blamed the PA for exacerbating Israel’s siege of the coastal region.
The latest fuel shortage comes as a result of the Israeli-imposed blockade of Gaza which has deprived the 1.5-million Gaza residents of the impoverished strip of food and other basic necessities since mid-June 2007.