A fuel crisis in Gaza has left the Strip without enough power to treat its sewage.

Dark clouds loom over the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in Gaza City. December 13, 2013
Dark clouds loom over the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in Gaza City. December 13, 2013 (AP)

Municipalities in Gaza have announced they would pump sewage straight into the sea from the Palestinian coastal enclave due to fuel shortages and the desperate humanitarian situation in the Strip.

"The beaches of the Gaza Strip will be completely closed and sewage will be pumped into the sea because the municipalities are unable to provide fuel" for treatment plants, said Nizar Hejazi, head of the Gaza City municipality.

TRT World's Ahmed al Burai reports.

Hejazi also noted "the policy of collective punishment (which) continues to be imposed on the population," in a statement representing municipalities across the Strip.

"We announce a state of emergency in the cities and municipalities of the Gaza Strip," Hejazi said, noting services would be cut by as much as 50 percent.

The only power plant in Gaza stopped operating two weeks ago due to lack of fuel, leaving the Strip totally reliant on imports.

Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza for more than a decade, while Egypt has also largely sealed its border in recent years, with both citing security measures.

Residents currently receive only a couple of hours power per day.

The Rafah crossing with Egypt was opened for four days from Wednesday for humanitarian cases, only the second such opening this year.

Last month the United Nations envoy warned the enclave was on the verge of "full collapse."

Source: AFP