The electric utility serving the Gaza Strip said a pair of Israeli tank shells struck one of three fuel tanks at Gaza’s only power plant Tuesday. Israel’s military campaign into Gaza to destroy Hamas’ capability to launch rockets and dig tunnels into Israeli territory is now in its fourth week.
The power plant, run by the Gaza Power Generating Co., is reportedly shut down following the strike.
“We need at least one year to repair the power plant, the turbines, the fuel tanks and the control room,” Fathi Sheik Khalil of the Gaza Energy Authority told the Associated Press. “Everything was burned.”
He said crew members who had been trapped by the fire for several hours were evacuated.
Even before the shutdown, Gaza residents only had electricity for about three hours a day because fighting had damaged power lines. Most of the power lines from Israel that provided electricity for payment were previously damaged in the fighting.
This means most of Gaza will now be without power. The lack of electricity will also affect water supplies, since power is needed to operate water pumps.