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Israel seizes EU-funded equipment for al-Khalil power grid, bars fuel entry into Gaza

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The photo shows Gaza's sole power plant in Nuseirat, June 28, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli authorities have seized equipment provided by the European Union for repair and restoration work on the electricity grid in the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron).

The official news agency Wafa reported on Monday that soldiers seized the equipment and cables. They prevented technicians from continuing their work at the facility.

Samou Hatem Mahareeq, mayor of the Samou area of al-Khalil, said Denmark and other EU member states had provided a total of 93,000 euros in humanitarian funding for the maintenance of the grid, which serves around 2,500 local residents in the area.

The grid facility is located in Area C, which constitutes about 60 percent of the West Bank area and is under Israel's full control. Palestinians living there face dire conditions.

Israel in recent years has demolished several EU-funded schools, clinics and humanitarian projects in the area. 

Israel bars entry of fuel shipments for Gaza power plant

Palestinian media say Israel has prevented the entry of more than two dozen fuel trucks headed for Gaza’s sole power plant through the Kerem Shalom crossing, which is the territory’s main commercial trade route.

“The [Israeli] occupying authorities barred the entry of 25 trucks loaded with fuel for the Gaza power plant,” said Rami Abu Elreish of the Hamas-run Ministry of Economy.

Gaza has been receiving its bare necessities through Kerem Shalom as well as two other crossings, including one with Egypt, which is being strictly controlled by the Egyptian government.

Last month, Israel allowed the entry of fuel for the power plant after a suspension of 49 days.

The besieged Palestinian territory, with a population of more than two million people, has been suffering from an energy crisis in recent years.

Gaza has been under a tight Israeli blockade for more than a decade. Residents have been subjected to persistent blackouts. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

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