Israel restores Gaza fuel after 50% cut

Fuel restriction is often a sign of heightened tensions and violence, while the absence of such restrictions speaks to the restoration of calm.

September 2, 2019 19:54
2 minute read.
A fuel tanker bound for the Gaza power plant is seen in the central Gaza Strip October 9, 2018

A fuel tanker bound for the Gaza power plant is seen in the central Gaza Strip October 9, 2018. (photo credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA / REUTERS)

Israel this week restored full fuel shipments to Gaza after it had reduced the amount by half last week in response to Palestinian rocket fire, sources told The Jerusalem Post.

The NGO Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement announced the fuel restarting by stating that three turbines were now working at Gaza’s power plant, providing 12 hours of electricity per day to the Strip.

Last week, that number had dropped down to six hours after the Israeli fuel cuts.

On Monday 10 trucks carrying 380,000 liters of fuel entered Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing.

It expected that the quantity of trucks and liters of fuel that enter Gaza will increase next week.

Some 3.1 million liters of fuel allocated weekly for the Gaza power plant has been funded by Qatar since October 2018.

Qatar, frustrated over Israel’s August decision to cut the fuel by 50%, stated Sunday that it had no plans to restore the fuel shipments now that Israel had rescinded that restriction.

Through its website, Hamas stated that its leader Ismail Haniyeh had spoken with Qatari Ambassador to Gaza Muhammed Emadi about the decision to cut the fuel, and that after the conversation, Qatar decided not make any cuts.

Israel’s draconian restrictions on the movement of necessities into the Strip such as fuel are often seen as a bellwether of relations between Gaza and Israel.

Fuel restriction are often a sign of heightened tension and violence, while the absence of such restrictions speaks to the restoration of calm.

Hamas has ruled over the 2 million Palestinians in Gaza since it forcibly removed Fatah from the Strip in a violent coup in 2007. Since then Israel and Hamas have fought three wars.

Hamas has led weekly protests by the security barrier with Israel since March 30, 2018 which often involve the throwing of stones and the launching of incendiary devices against Israel.

In his monthly briefing to the Security Council, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said, “the situation in Gaza remains very fragile as violent incidents continue.”

During the last month, he said, “some 11 rockets and mortars were launched from Gaza towards Israel. Most were intercepted two landed in the Israeli town of Sderot on August 17 and 25, causing material damage.

“On several occasions during the reporting period, some 15 Palestinian militants from Gaza breached or attempted to breach the perimeter fence, triggering retaliatory fire or airstrikes by the IDF, in which nine militants were killed,” Mladenov said.

“The weekly protests at the perimeter fence continued. Some individuals engaged in violent activities. The IDF responded mostly with riot dispersal means, however live ammunition was also used. One Palestinian was killed and 545 were injured, including over 150 children,” he stated.

“Although fewer incendiary kites, balloons and other devices have been launched from Gaza compared to the last reporting period, at least 11 incendiary fires were reported,” Mladenov said.

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