Israel has closed Gaza’s only commercial route, blocking the fuel needed to keep the strip’s sole power plant running, as Israeli strikes continue to hit heavily populated residential areas in the enclave.
Gaza’s sole power plant will shut down on Saturday due to lack of fuel, the territory’s energy authority has said.
“The plant will stop working due to inability to import fuel,” the authority said in a statement.
According to the statement, 500 megawatts are needed to fulfil Gaza’s electricity needs.
“Only 120 megawatts are currently available in Gaza imported directly from Israel,” it said, adding that electricity service will be available for only four hours.
Israel has closed the Karam Abu Salem crossing, Gaza’s only commercial route, as part of restrictions amid tension with Islamic Jihad group following the detention of two Palestinian senior group leaders in the occupied West Bank.
Gaza’s 2.3 million residents experience regular power shortages and last week received only an average of 10 hours of electricity per day, according to data from the UN’s humanitarian agency OCHA.
Our correspondent Mustafa Fatih Yavuz has the latest from Occupied East Jerusalem where Israeli army says preparing for Gaza operation to last a week pic.twitter.com/XWNCG0sfoO
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Israeli warplanes launched air strikes in the Gaza Strip on Friday to allegedly deter an “imminent threat of attack” by Islamic Jihad group for the arrest of the senior members.
13 Palestinians were killed and more than 110 others were injured in the attacks.
Islamic Jihad said Israel had “started a war against our people”.
“We collectively must defend ourselves and our people. We will not allow the enemy’s policy of undermining the resistance and our national perseverance,” the group said in a statement.
Gaza’s health ministry reported “a five-year-old girl, targeted by the Israeli occupation” was among those killed.
Hamas said Israel has “committed a new crime for which it must pay the price”.