UN calls for solution to Gaza fuel crisis

April 25th, 2008 - 6:21 pm ICT by admin  

Jerusalem, April 25 (DPA) The UN called Friday on Israel and Hamas to find a solution to the fuel crisis in the Gaza Strip, saying the former had to restore supplies to the salient, and the latter had to ensure it was properly distributed. “At this critical juncture, all parties must act to avert further suffering of the civilian population,” UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert H Serry said in a statement.

Israel halted its supply of fuel to the Gaza Strip following a deadly attack by militants on the Nahal Oz fuel depot on April 9, which killed two Israeli civilians.

An Israeli spokesman said Thursday that one million litres of fuel was stored on the Palestinian side of the terminal, but Hamas, which administers the Strip, has refused to distribute it.

According to the UN statement, the Gaza Petrol and Gas Station Owners Association suspended supply within the enclave to protest the Israeli limitations on fuel supplies.

On Thursday the Association said it would distribute 50,000 litres of diesel fuel to UNRWA to allow the organization to continue its humanitarian operations. However these efforts were thwarted by protests on the Palestinian side of the crossing and no fuel was delivered, the statement said.

UNRWA will be unable to make its regular food deliveries on Saturday unless it receives more fuel.

“Hamas, which controls Gaza, must ensure conditions to enable the distribution of supplies at Nahal Oz, so that more supplies can come in,” Serry’s statement said.

“Israel must restore adequate supplies of diesel and benzene for the civilian population of Gaza in accordance with international law,” the communique continued.

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