Israel resumes fuel supplies to Gaza (Lead)

November 11th, 2008 - 7:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Tel Aviv/Gaza, Nov 11 (RIA Novosti) Israel resumed fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip Tuesday, a defence ministry spokesman said. Israel closed Nov 5 all crossings into Gaza as border violence intensified following violations of a ceasefire deal. The fuel shortages forced Gaza’s sole power plant to shut down Monday, causing blackouts in Gaza.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak signed a decree allowing a limited resumption in fuel supplies to Gaza, saying the deliveries would resume in full as soon as Palestinian militants stopped firing rockets on Israeli territory.

“The minimum humanitarian demand is estimated at 2.2 million liters of fuel a week,” spokesman Peter Lerner said. “We are bearing this amount in mind following the opening of the Nahal Oz terminal this morning.”

The fuel will be supplied primarily to the Gaza power plant, which needs over three million liters of fuel per week, however, to operate at full capacity.

The plant accounts for approximately one third of Gaza’s energy demand, the additional electricity is supplied via power lines from Israel and Egypt.

Israel and Hamas-led militants reached a truce June 19. Under the six-month deal, Hamas agreed to stop firing rockets into Israel, which in turn agreed to reopen its border crossings with the Gaza Strip to allow supplies of essential goods into the Palestinian territory.

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