The Egyptian authorities decided to close the Rafah border crossing with Gaza following a one-day opening, after Gaza’s only power plant stopped working.
The Palestine Embassy in Cairo announced that the sole electricity plant in the Gaza Strip is out of order because of a lack of fuel as concerns grow over worsening humanitarian conditions in the besieged Palestinian enclave.
The plant’s closure, which produces around 20 megawatts per day using fuel imported from Egypt, exacerbates an already critical power shortage as Gaza’s two million residents receive only around four hours of mains electricity a day.
In recent weeks, three hospitals and 16 medical centers have stopped offering key services because of the crippling fuel shortages.
The embassy said a crisis cell headed by Palestinian Ambassador Diab al-Louh was immediately formed to keep tabs on the safety of Palestinians stranded at the transit passageway between Ismailia and Arish provinces.
The Gaza Strip – home to some two million Palestinians – does not have an airport and has been under an Israeli land, sea and air blockade for over a decade.
Israel controls Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters, as well as two of the three border crossing points which are sporadically open for business. The third – Rafah checkpoint – is controlled by Egypt and is rarely opened.
For the majority of Palestinians who wish to travel, study or seek medical care abroad, they must cross into Egypt before being able to take a flight to their destination.
Palinfo.com / AA Magnum Analyst Blog News 2018.