The Associated Press
May 12, 2008 - 5:34pm

A Gaza power plant shut down by the ruling Hamas party will start operating again later on Monday, an official said.

Hamas said the plant was shut down on Saturday because it ran out of fuel supplied by Israel.

Israel claimed that Hamas was creating an artificial crisis, raising tensions ahead of a visit by the Egyptian mediator trying to broker a truce between the two enemies, and severely limited shipments to pressure Palestinian militants to halt their rocket barrages at nearby Jewish communities.

On Sunday, Gaza militants fired three rockets at Israel, the military said. One exploded next to a school bus transporting children, another hit a factory and the third landed at a college. No one was hurt.

At Sunday's meeting of Israel's Cabinet, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert pledged to stop the daily barrages.

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He said, "Either there will be quiet or Israel will take strong action that eventually will bring quiet." After the fatal attack on Friday on Israel, five Palestinians were killed in Israeli raids in Gaza.

The sudden spike came as Egypt pressed for a halt to the violence.

Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman is due in Israel on Monday, an Israeli government official confirmed. For months, Suleiman has been trying to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas.

The idled power plant supplies electricity to about 400,000 people. However, most of Gaza's electricity is piped directly from Israel, so residents still received electricity for about six hours a day despite the plant shutdown.


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