BEIRUT

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Gaza faces power outages amid political infighting

A Palestinian girl studies by candle light during a power cut in Gaza November 13, 2008. REUTERS/Ismail Zaydah

GAZA CITY: Palestinian officials say Gaza's power plant is not operating and the territory is facing power outages due to a fuel shortage caused by political infighting.

Ihab Ghussein, spokesman for Gaza's Hamas government, said Sunday that the rival government in the West Bank has stopped transferring fuel to Gaza because the Gaza government won't pay a newly imposed tax. Hamas says it cannot afford the tax.

In recent months, Egypt has closed smuggling tunnels along the Gaza border that provided fuel to the Palestinian territory. Egypt also has halted transfers of Qatari-funded fuel because of militant attacks on Egyptian security forces in the lawless Sinai Peninsula. Higher-priced Israeli fuel transfers are continuing.

Power outages in Gaza now last 12 hours because of the fuel shortage.

 

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