Egypt sends 20,000 tons of diesel to Gaza to face fuel shortage
CAIRO, June 7 (KUNA) -- Egypt on Thursday sent 20,000 tons of diesel to Gaza Strip to help the Palestinian territory face an acute fuel shortage that forced its sole power plant to shut down a day earlier.
The official news agency (MENA) reported that Egypt's military ruler and Head of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi issued orders for the Egyptian Petroleum Corporation Thursday to dispatch 20,000 tons of diesel immediately to Gaza.
MENA added that the 'Egyptian gift to the people of Gaza' will be transported through Egypt's Al-Awja border crossing into southern Israel, then into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing.
The Egyptian government also stressed commitment to support Palestinian people in Gaza Strip, despite attempts to cause a rift between Egyptians and Gazans.
In a press statement a day earlier, the Gaza-based Energy Authority claimed that their sole power plant run out of fuel and that Israeli authorities were restricting the entrance of fuel to the besieged Strip.
It also claimed that the Egyptian authorities failed to fulfill previous promises to allow access for a Qatari-donated fuel shipment to the plant.
The densely-populated Strip is experiencing a major electricity shortage as a result of the immobile plant, which supplies nearly a third of Gaza's
The power plant, which has a maximum capacity of 140 megawatts, in recent years has only been able to supply around half of that when operational, due to the frequency of such shortages. This has led to an upscale of cross-border smuggling of fuel, used to feed the plant, mostly from Egypt. (end)
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