Israel to resume fuel supplies into Gaza

May 19th, 2008 - 7:40 pm ICT by admin  

Gaza, May 19 (Xinhua) Israel pledged to resume reduced fuel shipments to the Gaza Strip Monday, director of the Palestinian Petroleum Agency Mujahed Salama said. Gaza’s reduced weekly supply of gasoline will be allowed into the coastal enclave Monday after nearly two months of suspension, Salama said.

The 75,000 litres of benzene are expected to be piped into Gaza via Nahal Oz crossing, he added.

On Sunday, Israel allowed 270,000 litres of diesel into Gaza and will continue supplying the strip with up to its previous weekly amount of 880,000 litres, Salama said.

About 180 tonnes of cooking gas and 400,000 litres of industrial diesel for Gaza power station were also piped into Gaza Sunday, according to Salama.

Salama, however, said: “what Israel allows into Gaza doesn’t meet the needs of the people and the other sectors.”

In September, Israel reduced fuel deliveries to Gaza, three months after Hamas took over the territory by force, in an attempt to pressure Hamas to stop its attacks on the Jewish state.

But the sanctions had little impact on Hamas as it controls the distribution of the reduced fuel supplies inside Gaza.

The sanctions caused a crisis in transportation and forced Gaza drivers to look for other alternatives. Those who have cars using gasoline engine turned to cooking gas as fuel and owners of diesel vehicles began to feed their cars with the cooking oil.

Mahmoud al-Shawa, president of Gas Stations Owners Union, said Israel has to cover the shortages caused by the sporadic suspension of fuel deliveries for over two months.

To overcome the crisis, al-Shawa said Israel has to send five million litres of diesel, 400,000 litres of gasoline and 500 tonnes of cooking gas everyday for one month.

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