Ma'an News Agency
December 4, 2009 - 1:00am

Israeli authorities informed Palestinian crossing officials that all transfer points would be closed Friday, continuing the five-day-a-week opening trend at the terminals.

Raed Fattouh, Palestinian crossings liaison, said he was told that all crossings would be closed Friday, although they are scheduled to be open. Crossings have not been open Fridays since summer.

The closure means food and fuel waiting to enter the Strip will continue to wait in storage containers.

Fuel crisis

Fuel continues to be a restricted item, with Israel's decision to move fuel-transfer infrastructure from Nahal Oz to Kerem Shalom causing even more restrictions. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), three out of the four days on which industrial fuel was transferred, between 22-28 November, it was transferred through the fuel installation station at Kerem Shalom in the far south of Gaza "which is much slower and costs significantly more to use."

The Gaza power plant continues to run below capacity, with sections in need of repair and inadequate fuel supply leading to continued blackouts across the Strip. Blackouts cover each district between 2-17 percent of the week, according to Oxfam, with the hardest hit areas in Khan Younis (28 hours without electricity last week) and Jabaliya (24 hours without electricity last week).

The plant received a total of 2.3 million liters of industrial fuel between 2-28 November; according to Oxfam this was 65% of the 3.5 million liters of fuel needed weekly to operate Gaza’s only power plant at the current maximum export capacity of 80 megawatts.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017