Knocked out!Hamas is blaming the IDF.
"Gaza's sole power plant has stopped working due to Israeli shelling last night, which damaged the steam generator and later hit the fuel tanks which set them on fire," Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil told AFP.
An AFP reporter saw huge fires raging near the plant Tuesday morning, noting that fire department vehicles were still unable to reach the area.
The damage of the power plant exacerbated the heavy damage to civilian infrastructure in Gaza already inflicted during the 22 days of the Israeli offensive aimed at stamping out terrorist rocket fire and destroying attack tunnels.
Besides the power plant, Gaza also purchases electricity from Israel, but many of the supply lines have been badly damaged by the recent fighting, Sheikh Khalil said.
"Five out of 10 of the Israeli electricity lines into the Gaza Strip were also damaged because of Israeli shelling, and maintenance still cannot reach the areas and fix them," he explained.
Israel blamed Hamas fire for damaging some of the supply lines. Two weeks ago, Israel said that a Hamas rocket hit the power line that supplies electricity to Khan Younis and Deir el-Balah. It's not clear when Israel Electric Company workers will be able to repair the system, but they are apparently in no rush to do so. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has asked the IEC not to risk the lives of its employees in trying to restore power to the affected sector in Gaza, an operation that could take hours.
One suggestion for action against Gaza that has come up numerous times in Israel – including from MKs – is cutting off electricity to Gaza, which Israel is still supplying.The article also says that power to Gaza has been reduced by 90% and yet somehow they still have electricity 12 hours per day. Boo. Hoo.
Palestinian witnesses said Israeli tank fire hit the fuel depot of the Gaza Strip's only power plant on Tuesday, cutting electricity to Gaza City and many other parts of the Palestinian enclave of 1.8 million people.Maybe they should have thought of that before they started shooting rockets and digging tunnels.
A thick column of black smoke rose from the facility, which supplies the territory with two-thirds of its energy needs, and the fuel containers were in flames.
"The power plant is finished," said its director, Mohammed al-Sharif.
He said the local fire brigade was not equipped to extinguish the blaze.
An Israeli military spokeswoman had no immediate comment and said she was checking the report.
The plant had already been hit last week and was working at a reduced capacity of about 20 percent, allowing only a few hours of electricity a day for Gaza's residents.
The fire actually looks pretty impressive.
Let's go to the videotape.