Photo: AFP
Hamas gunmen in Gaza
Photo: AFP
Barak: Diesel intended for Gaza power station, not cars
Barak orders diesel shipment for power station, not cars. Meanwhile Gaza universities claim students unable to attend classes due to lack of fuel

Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered on Monday the renewal of diesel shipments to Gaza's power station on. Only the minimal amount required to maintain the station's operations will be transferred.


In addition to this, Israel will also allow shipments of cooking gas into the Strip. At this point petrol and diesel fuels used for transportation needs will not be supplied.

The transfer will only commence on Wednesday due to security coordination efforts.


Barak's decision follows a request issued by Egyptian leaders. According to the new agreement, which was ratified by the High Court of Justice several weeks ago, the Palestinians will receive 581,000 gallons of diesel for the power station.


Defense officials stressed that Gaza still retains large amounts of fuel that have not yet been used.


Universities: Students can't get to classes

Sources in Gaza reported Monday that the Strip's four major universities had to shut down because of extreme fuel shortages. The IDF continued to respond dismissively to the claims made by Palestinians, according to which Israel is causing a large-scale humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Instead, army officials blamed Hamas for fabricating the crisis.


According to Palestinian reports, university students have been unable to travel from the north and south of the Strip to Gaza City in order to attend classes. The university buses have also been unable to function due to the lack of fuel.


The Palestinian Energy and Natural Resource Authority estimated that the shortage would soon leak into other areas of civilian life, and warned of a pending humanitarian crisis in the hospitals. Palestinian officials said that the shortage would accelerate the 'explosion' recently talked about, meaning a recurring break through the Rafah Crossing into Egypt, though Egypt has warned Hamas to refrain from such actions.


The fuel terminal at Nahal Oz has been closed since the attack that took place there last Wednesday, in which two of its employees, Oleg Lipson and Lev Charniak, were killed. The IDF continues to stand by its claim, that the Palestinians still have unused fuel supplies transferred during the week before the attack, and that Hamas was using the fuel shortage to create a false crisis that would divert the citizens' attention from the living conditions in the Strip. Hamas has rejected this claim.



Hanan Greenberg contributed to this article


First published: 14.04.08, 20:34
 new comment
See all talkbacks "Barak: Diesel intended for Gaza power station, not cars"
This will delete your current comment