Gazans refuse reduced fuel shipments

Representative of Gaza gas station owners says Israel supplying a quarter of the required fuel.

gaza fuel 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
gaza fuel 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Palestinian fuel companies in the Gaza Strip have refused to accept scheduled shipments of fuel following Israel's decision to reduce fuel supply to the Strip. A representative of the Gaza Strip gas station owners' organization told the Palestinian Ramatan news agency that Israel was supplying only a quarter of the gasoline and diesel required by Gaza's gas stations. According to the representative, Gazans use some 350,000 liters of gasoline daily, but Israel was supplying only 90,000 liters. "We have refused to take these allocations, because if we did, we'd be accessories to a crime," he said. Over the weekend, the High Court of Justice gave its approval to the government's action of reducing diesel and gasoline supplies to Gaza by 15 percent. The step was initiated on October 28. The two High Court decisions came in response to a petition filed by two Palestinians from Gaza, including Maher Najjar, the Deputy Director of the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility, and 10 human rights organizations. The petitioners charged that the sanctions constituted collective punishment, which was against international law. They also charged that they would create severe humanitarian problems such as endangering "the functioning of the hospitals, the water and sewage systems, home medical equipment, refrigeration of food and medicine and other vital systems necessary to safeguard the health of the population." The state informed the court that the cut in fuel, which is paid for the European Union and supplied by the Israeli Dor Oil Company, would only amount to 15 percent, leaving the Gaza population with more than they required for humanitarian needs.