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Cablegate: Gaza: Limited Quantities of Food and Fuel Delivered

VZCZCXRO7953
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #0111/01 0221520
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 221520Z JAN 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0312
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 2248
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 000111

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE; NEA/IPA FOR
GOLDBERGER/SHAMPAINE/BELGRADE; PRM FOR PRM/ANE; NSC FOR
ABRAMS/PASCUAL; TREASURY FOR SZUBIN/LOEFFLER/NUGENT/HIRSON;
BRUSSELS FOR LERNER; PLEASE PASS TO USAID FOR
KUNDER/MCCLOUD/BORODIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON KPAL KWBG PGOV PHUM
SUBJECT: GAZA: LIMITED QUANTITIES OF FOOD AND FUEL DELIVERED

REF: 2007 JERUSALEM 2514

1. (SBU) Summary: The Gaza Power Plant received 750,000
liters of industrial fuel on January 22 and restarted
electricity production following two days of shut-down. Gaza
gas station owners refused to make deliveries within Gaza of
a 250,000-liter diesel fuel shipment at the Nahal Oz fuel
transfer station on January 22, complaining that the
shipments were "for the exclusive use of UNRWA and PA
hospitals - not the Gaza public." An estimated 27 truckloads
of humanitarian shipments passed through Kerem Shalom
crossing on January 22. The Coastal Municipalities Water
Authority estimated that during the shut-down of the Gaza
Power Plant, roughly 40 percent of Gazans were without
running water in their homes. End summary.

Gaza Power Plant Receives Two Days Fuel Supply
--------------------------------------------- -

2. (SBU) Gaza Power Plant Manager Rafiq Maliha told Econoff
on January 22 that the plant is in the process of receiving a
750,000-liter shipment of industrial fuel from the Nahal Oz
fuel transport station - enough for the plant to produce 65
MW of electricity for two days. Maliha said that the plant,
which produces roughly 30 percent of Gaza's electricity
supply, re-started its turbines in the morning hours of
January 22, following two days of shut-down due to a lack of
fuel. Maliah said that he did not know when the next fuel
delivery would take place, as the Israeli press has claimed
the January 22 fuel shipments to be a "one time" exception.

3. (SBU) Maliha said that the 120 MW of electricity from the
Israel Electricity Company (IEC) and the 18 MW from Egypt
continued to supply most of the southern, central, and the
most northern Gaza Strip with power when the Plant was shut
down. He said that the shut down of the Plant hit hardest
those residents of Gaza City and some in central Gaza.
Maliha stressed that the ad hoc configuration of Gaza's grid
makes it difficult to transfer and monitor electricity flows
through the exchange points between the IEC and the Power
Plant.

Gaza Gas Station Owners Declare Work Stoppage
---------------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Vice Chairman of the Gaza Petroleum and Gas Station
Owners' Association Mahmound Khozendar told Econoff that
250,000 liters of diesel fuel were transferred at Nahal Oz on
January 22, but that his association's members refused to
deliver the fuel, as the entire amount was to be shipped to
UNRWA and PA hospitals for their exclusive use - none for the
gas stations. "We will not participate in this sort of
abuse," said Khozendar. He stressed that once diesel fuel is
"available to all Gazans" his association's members will
re-start fuel deliveries. The 250,000 liters of diesel fuel
remains in holding tanks on the Gaza side of the Nahal Oz
transfer station. Khozendar added that the industrial fuel
deliveries to the Power Plant will continue to be an
exception to the work stoppage. He noted that 240 tons of
cooking gas was received at Nahal Oz on January 22 and
delivered through a separate distribution system.

Some Humanitarian Shipments Go Through
--------------------------------------

5. (SBU) WFP Deputy Country Director Jacques Higgins said
that WFP shipped seven truckloads of food aid into Gaza
through the Kerem Shalom crossing on January 22. Higgins
said that UNRWA, ICRC, and WHO had also shipped on that day
an estimated 20 truckloads of humanitarian goods through
Kerem Shalom. WFP planned to ship 15 trucks of aid through
Kerem Shalom on January 23, said Higgins.

Lack of Electricity Cripples Hospital Operations
--------------------------------------------- ---

6. (SBU) WHO Country Director Mahmoud Daher told Econoff on
January 22 that Dar al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City has, once
again, limited its health services to emergency cases only,
as the hospital's three generators have only three or four
days of diesel fuel supply remaining - roughly 9500 liters.
Daher estimated that Gaza hospital activity has slowed by 50

JERUSALEM 00000111 002 OF 002


percent in the last two days due to the lack of electricity.
Despite the Power Plant's renewed power production on January
22, Gaza hospital managers had told him that they will
continue to limit health services offered for the foreseeable
future to preserve fuel stocks, as the fuel import situation
remains unpredictable.

Limited Running Water Throughout Gaza
-------------------------------------

7. (SBU) PA Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU)
engineer in Gaza Monther Shoblak told Econoff on January 22
that during the January 20-22 Power Plant shut-down, an
estimated 40 percent of Gaza homes were without running
water. He said that some 60 percent of the 137 CMWU-operated
water wells in Gaza have been turned-off to conserve limited
diesel fuel supplies. Shoblak said that all Gaza power and
water utilities continue to rotate electricity and water
services to the extent possible between Gaza neighborhoods,
most of which received two hours of running water and four to
eight hours of electricity during the Power Plant shut-down.

WALLES

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