Photo: Yaron Brenner
Running out of petrol
Photo: Yaron Brenner

Report: Fuel shortage in PA

Palestinian Fuel Authority confirms reports gas running out in West Bank; Israel says knows nothing of such shortage

Palestinian sources told Ynet about fuel shortages in a number of places in the West Bank. Shortages have been reported several times in the past, after the Palestinian Authority failed to pay its debts to the Israeli Dor-Alon energy company. The report was confirmed by the Palestinian Fuel Authority.


Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Israeli National Infrastructure Ministry said that officials were unaware of any shortage in petrol, though other official sources said they were not surprised by the report.


According to reports, some gas stations in the Wets Bank have even shut down and workers were busy explaining the situation to customers in an effort to prevent them from entering the stations.


Palestinian sources say shortages have taken place in Qalqilya, Tul Karm, Nablus, and Bethlehem. A Bethlehem resident told Ynet Tuesday evening that he attempted to fuel his vehicle in all the gas stations in the city, but not one of them had petrol.


Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem told Ynet that "Israel is working to prevent a humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian Authority, and ardently rejects any claims that such a crisis exists."


A senior diplomatic source rejected Palestinian claims that the fuel shortage was the result of Israel's policy, as well as assertions that the PA suffers a shortage in medical supplies because of Israel. "Israel believes that the Palestinian people's needs must not be harmed, and it sees to it that the Authority's citizens receive the required aid," he stated.


Other diplomatic sources said that the Palestinian government's main problem at present is shortage in cash, due to the decision of Arab banks to halt fund transfer to the Hamas-led government. This triggered a monetary crisis and brought to a delay in the payment of salaries to government workers.


The shortage in cash has also caused trade companies across the world to suspend the delivery of goods, including medical supplies, to the PA. A Jerusalem official said that Israel is looking for ways to enable the transfer of goods into Gaza.


Ronny Sofer contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 05.10.06, 00:22
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