Gaza = Power

Literally. And it turns a profit:

Running a power plant in Gaza might sound like a losing venture but, thanks to payments from the cash-strapped Palestinian government, its owners are making profits and promise another year of "unstoppable growth".

While Gaza's 1.5 million residents, blockaded by Israel, face electricity shortages, the Palestine Electric Co.'s (PEC) PEC.PL profits were $6.3 million in 2008, up from $4.4 million in 2007. Profits are largely distributed in tax-free dividends.

The gains came even though the plant has been operating at less than half capacity due to the embargo that chokes fuel and spare parts, and past bombings by Israel.

But, of course, there's the corruption:

Past efforts by West Bank-based Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to reopen the PEC's contract stalled. Many large PEC shareholders play a powerful role in the Palestinian economy and are close to Arafat's successor Mahmoud Abbas, officials say.