Turkish delegation visits Gaza to discuss electricity shortage

Published July 12th, 2016 - 12:00 GMT
Palestinian children play on a street in the center of Gaza City on June 29, 2016. (AFP/Thomas Coex)
Palestinian children play on a street in the center of Gaza City on June 29, 2016. (AFP/Thomas Coex)

A delegation from Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Ministry is currently visiting the Gaza Strip to discuss means of meeting the coastal enclave’s demand for electricity.

The visit comes two weeks after Ankara and Tel Aviv agreed to normalize relations following a six-year hiatus.

According to ministry sources, members of the delegation -- which arrived in the strip on Sunday evening -- will meet both Israeli officials and representatives of Gaza’s Hamas-run government to discuss means of resolving the problems facing the territory’s energy sector.

Gaza continues to suffer from a severe energy crisis that has forced the local authorities to adopt a rotation system, cutting power in certain parts of the strip in order to supply electricity to other areas.

This is due to shortfalls in the amounts of electricity produced by Gaza’s sole power plant, coupled with the fact that electricity supplied by Israel and Egypt is insufficient to meet the strip’s energy demand.

Following its visit to Gaza, the Turkish delegation is expected to provide a report on its findings to Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak.

The report will include an assessment of the strip’s energy needs; facts about the local production, transmission and distribution of energy; and recommendations for tackling the chronic problems plaguing war-battered Gaza’s electricity infrastructure.

The report will also be submitted to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish cabinet, after which a roadmap will be prepared on means of implementing the report’s recommendations.

A number of private Turkish companies have reportedly expressed interest in helping meet Gaza’s energy needs in terms of the production, transmission and distribution of energy.

Last week, a Turkish aid ship docked in Israel’s port of Ashdod carrying 11,000 tons of humanitarian aid bound for Gaza.

The influx of Turkish aid into Gaza comes within the context of a deal signed late last month between Turkey and Israel in which the two agreed to restore diplomatic relations following a six-year hiatus.

Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has groaned under a joint Israeli-Egyptian blockade that has deprived the enclave’s roughly 1.9 million inhabitants of their most basic needs, especially food, fuel, medicine and construction supplies.

By Hussein Erdogan


© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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