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Cablegate: Gaza: Fuel Deliveries Made; Court Decision Spurs

VZCZCXRO6260
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #0168/01 0311504
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 311504Z JAN 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0395
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 2269
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JERUSALEM 000168

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: FUEL DELIVERIES MADE; COURT DECISION SPURS
CONCERN

REF: A. JERUSALEM 143

B. JERUSALEM 111

1. (SBU) Summary: Restricted fuel deliveries were made into
Gaza on January 31. Municipal water authorities reported
that at least 80 percent of the water and sewage pumps should
be operational February 1, as an agreement was reached
regarding fuel deliveries within Gaza. The Gaza Power Plant
is increasing output from 45 MW during the day to 65 MW
during night peak hours. Health sector professionals are
concerned about the recent unrestricted importation of live
animals through Rafah. Gaza contacts conveyed disappointment
and fear in response to the January 30 Israel High Court of
Justice ruling that the current fuel and electricity cuts are
legal. End summary.

Kerem Shalom Crossing Open
--------------------------

2. (SBU) WFP contacts said that Kerem Shalom crossing was
open January 31 for restricted humanitarian shipments, while
Sufa crossing was closed. Kerem Shalom had last been open on
January 23 and Sufa on January 30.

Restricted Fuel Transfers Made;
Gas Stations Remain Closed
--------------------------

3. (SBU) Palestinian Petroleum Corporation Director in Gaza
Mujahid Salama told Econoff that the following fuel transfers
were made at the Nahal Oz station on January 31:
- industrial fuel for Gaza Power Plant - 500,000 liters
- diesel fuel - 170,000 liters
- gasoline - 20,000 liters
- cooking gas - 125 tons

4. (SBU) Salama said that most diesel fuel and gasoline
transfers continue to be stored in his agency's facilities on
the Gaza side of Nahal Oz, as the Gaza Petroleum and Gas
Station Owners Association has closed Gaza gas stations and
continues to limit fuel deliveries within Gaza.

5. (SBU) Gaza Power Plant Project Manager Rafiq Maliha told
Econoff on January 31 that the Plant is producing 45 MW
during the day and 65 MW at during peak hours at night, given
the cold weather in the region. He confirmed that most
Gazans continue to experience 10-12 hours without electricity
each day.

Major Fuel Delivery To Municipal Water Authority
--------------------------------------------- ---

6. (SBU) Gaza Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU)
chief engineer Monther Shoblak told Econoff on January 31
that at least 80 percent of all municipal pumps should be
operational by February 2, as the Gaza Petroleum and Gas
Station Owners Association agreed on January 30 to deliver to
CMWU a one-month supply of diesel fuel for its 170 pumping
stations - roughly 150,000 liters. Shoblak said that the
association's fuel transport trucks had begun to haul fuel on
January 31 from storage facilities on the Gaza side of Nahal
Oz fuel transport station to municipality pumping stations.
He said that the fuel delivery should take two to three work
days and that roughly 85 percent of Gazans should have
running water to their homes by February 2.

7. (SBU) Shoblak noted that the 20 percent of the pumps that
will not be operational following the fuel delivery are (1)
missing spare parts and/or (2) dependent on electricity of
the Gaza Power Plant, whose output continues to fluctuate
between 45 MW and 65 MW, depending on the time of day.
Shoblak added that with the additional fuel, he would soon be
able to reduce the sewage flow into the sea and partially
treat that sewage prior to entry. Roughly 40,000 cubic
meters of sewage has been flowing into the sea each day since
January 22, due to the lack of functioning pumps.

Unrestricted Animal Imports
At Rafah Spur Health Concerns
-----------------------------


JERUSALEM 00000168 002 OF 002


8. (SBU) WHO National Health Officer Mahmoud Daher told
Econoff on January 31 that health concerns are rising among
PA health officials in Gaza that the unrestricted passage of
animals from Egypt into Gaza through the Rafah crossing
recently has put the region's human and animal population at
an increased risk of foot and mouth disease and avian
influenza. Daher noted that Egypt had reportedly experienced
a number of cases of avian influenza last year. Daher said
that Gaza health sector officials met with GOI health
officials to discuss the matter on January 30 at Erez
crossing.

Israeli High Court Ruling
Spurs Fear Of Additional Cuts
-----------------------------

9. (SBU) Daher and Shoblak were focused on the January 30
Israel High Court of Justice decision that ruled that
Israel's reduction of power and fuel to Gaza was legal.
Daher feared that the decision may result in even greater
fuel cuts by GOI, while Shoblak opined that more detrimental
actions - such as fuel cuts and electricity reductions -
against the Gaza population would occur due to the "blessing
of the High Court."

DUFFY

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