Israel threatens Hamas with Gaza blackout over unpaid bills

Israel threatens Hamas with Gaza blackout over unpaid bills
Hamas owes Israeli energy company, Dor, for the diesel required to run its only power plant - and Israel is threatening to cut the besieged area off over non-payment.
2 min read
08 April, 2017
The besieged territory, Gaza, receives a little fuel aid from Qatar and Turkey [AFP]

Israel put the Palestinian organisation, Hamas, on notice over unpaid fuel bills that could lead to roaming power cuts in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas has allegedly not paid Israeli energy company, Dor, for the diesel it has already received to operate Gaza's only power plant and now Israel is threatening to cut it off.

"The responsibility lies with Hamas," said Major General Yoav Mordechai.

"We regret the fact that it will be the civilians in Gaza who will pay the price for this."

The price of diesel has become prohibitively expensive, the Times of Israel reports, and a recent supply of diesel from Qatar and Turkey has almost run out.

"The cost of fuel is rising and Hamas is not willing to pay these costs or the cost of fuel it consumes on its own," said Mordechai.

The Gaza power station was built in 2002 and has been bombed out of service by Israeli strikes on a number of occasions.

Egypt supplied a small amount of electricity to the besieged region in June 2006, after Israel bombed the station in response to the capture of the Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank finalised its own ten-year debt with Israel over its own electricity woes in September 2016.

Under an agreement with Israel's Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, the PA agreed to pay its debt of $450 million over 48 installments.

The Israel Electric Corporation had previously reduced its power supply to the Jericho governorate by around a third in April 2016.