Israel resumed pumping Qatari-funded fuel into the Gaza Strip, a week after a rocket was launched from the enclave.
Qatari Ambassador Mohammed al-Emadi and UN envoy Nikolai Miladinov contacted Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, and informed him of the decision, which came after talks with Israeli authorities, provided the rocket ceasefire from Gaza is maintained.
It is assumed that Israel pumped, 400,000 to 450,000 liters of fuel to Gaza’s only power plant, the normal rate before it decided to reduce the amount.
The Israeli government cut fuel supplies to Gaza on August 25, because of the renewal of missile attacks from the Strip. It remains to be seen if this amount will remain the same with Doha’s decision to cut funding in half.
Yediot Ahronot newspaper reported that Qatar will finance only half of the amount it has been providing for several months and was scheduled to maintain it until the end of this year.
The Qatari decision does not appear to be coordinated with other parties, as Doha announced in November that it had donated $60 million to fuel Gaza’s power plant for six months, at $10 million a month. It later decided to extend its support until the end of the year.
Israeli media said the reasons behind the Qatari decision were still unclear and raised fears of repercussions it may have on the truce talks between Israel and Hamas.
The enclave needs about 500 megawatts of electricity with only 212 megawatts provided. Israel provides 120 megawatts, Egypt 32 megawatts and 60 megawatts are generated by the power plant.
Gazans hope the power line from Israel, known as Line 161, would be completed which could provide the Strip with better supply.
They currently receive eight hours of electricity per day, which improves or worsens depending on the available amounts of fuel and the condition of power lines.