Palestinian energy chief: Egypt ready to supply Gaza with fuel

The Egyptian government has expressed readiness to supply Gaza’s only domestic power plant with fuel in the coming days, said Palestinian Authority energy chief Omar Katana.

He said Egypt has also agreed to increase the amount of electricity supplied to the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip from 17 to 22 megawatts per day at the beginning of next week.

After a Palestinian energy delegation visited Egypt and met with its electricity and petroleum ministers, Katana said the meetings were positive and Egyptian officials seemed responsive to the Palestinian request for more fuel supplies. Egyptian officials have a genuine desire to resolve the crisis in Gaza out of a feeling of historic responsibility, he added.

A joint Palestinian-Egyptian committee has been set up to discuss the mechanism by which to supply Gaza with fuel and to agree on a draft trade deal to supply the Gaza power station with fuel through official channels and border crossings, he added.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian government said in a Tuesday statement that there are positive signs the fuel supply crisis in Gaza is on its way to being resolved, as Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh negotiates a solution with Egyptian officials in Cairo.

The statement said progress has also been made in talks to solve Gaza’s electricity problem. Before leaving Gaza for Cairo, Haniyeh said the electricity shortage in Gaza is a catastrophe, particularly with revolutions sweeping the Arab region.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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