Israel: Hamas faking humanitarian crisis

Ahead of cabinet meeting, ministers call Hamas talk "effrontery," "spin;" gov't: Situation far from crisis.

Nahal Oz op (photo credit: AP)
Nahal Oz op
(photo credit: AP)
Carrying out a terror attack against the people supplying Gaza with fuel and then citing fuel shortages as a sign of a humanitarian crisis is the highest effrontery, Housing and Construction Minister Ze'ev Boim said Sunday, prior to the weekly cabinet meeting. Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit echoed Boim's comments, saying "there is no crisis in Gaza. The crisis is artificial. This is a Hamas lie intended to pressure the international community." In an interview with Army Radio Sunday morning, Maj. Gen. [Res.] Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry's Diplomatic-Security Bureau said Israel had ways of gauging the real situation in Gaza and pledged that Israel would not allow the situation in the Strip to reach crisis levels. An official Foreign Ministry statement quoted Colonel Nir Press, head of the IDF's Coordination and Liaison Administration as saying: "The State of Israel has permitted the steady and continuous flow of fuel into the Gaza Strip in recent weeks." The statement added that 2,200,000 liters of diesel fuel were transferred through the Nahal Oz fuel terminal to the Gaza Strip power plant weekly, while cooking gas was supplied in unlimited quantities. On Saturday night, a government official told The Jerusalem Post that Israel planned to transfer fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip via the Nahal Oz depot within the "next couple of days," . Israel also dismissed as a "Hamas spin" Palestinian claims that fuel was running low and that electricity supplies in Gaza would have to be cut. The director of Gaza's only power plant, Rafik Maliha, had warned Saturday that the installation would be shut down in two to three days unless Israel resumed fuel shipments. He cautioned that half a million Gazans would be left without electricity. Israel halted supplies last week after Gaza terrorists attacked the Nahal Oz fuel depot on the border, killing Oleg Lipson and Lev Cherniak, employees of the Dor Alon energy company. According to Israeli officials, the claim that fuel supplies were running low in Gaza was untrue. Sixty percent of the Strip's electricity comes in power lines from the Israeli grid via the Ashkelon plant. Another 10% comes from Egypt. Both these supplies are continuing unhindered.