Middle East Monitor / May 13, 2023
On Friday, a Palestinian government official in Gaza warned that the only power plant would stop working within 72 hours, as fuel quantities are running out, given the continued closure of the Karam Abu Salem crossing (south)
This came during a press conference held by the head of the government media office (run by Hamas), Salama Maarouf, at Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City.
Maarouf said, “We warn from the continued closure of the crossings and the ban of entering needed fuel for the power plant, where the plant’s administration was forced to shut down one of the three turbines to prolong its work duration,” noting that the plant may completely shut down within 72 hours.
For the fourth consecutive day, coinciding with the start of the Israeli escalation in the Gaza Strip, Israel completely closed the Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing (north) for the transportation of individuals, and the Karam Abu Salem crossing (south) for the transportation of goods.
Maarouf called on “the international community to perform its duties regarding the situation in the Gaza Strip.”
In the same context, Maarouf said that since dawn on Tuesday, the Israeli army has destroyed about 8 buildings, consisting of 28 housing units.
He added, “About 532 housing units were damaged, 37 of which are uninhabitable and 495 are partially and severely damaged.”
After the end of the conference, Israeli warplanes destroyed two more houses, the first in the south of the Gaza Strip and the second in the north. The Anadolu agency correspondent was unable to determine the number of apartments located in each house.
Maarouf reported that a number of schools were damaged as a result of the Israeli raids, while the escalation led to the complete halt of the schooling and education.
He pointed out that the fishing sector is also suspended for the fourth day in a row, having a negative impact on 3,500 fishermen who lost their source of livelihood during those days.
During the day, the warplanes launched a series of raids on agricultural lands and sites belonging to the armed Palestinian factions in different areas of Gaza.
For the first time since the outbreak of the current round of fighting, the Palestinian armed factions fired a rocket attack at the city of Jerusalem on Friday.
After this attack, Israel informed the Egyptians that it decided to stop the cease-fire talks that Egypt is mediating between the Israeli government and the Palestinian factions.
Since dawn on Tuesday, Israeli planes have been carrying out attacks on Gaza, killing 31 Palestinians, including 6 children and 3 women, and 5 leaders of the Quds Brigades. The Palestinian factions began responding Wednesday with missile attacks that reached Tel Aviv and cities in the centre of the country.