GAZA CITY: Qatari-bought fuel arrived at the Gaza Strip’s only power station after entering through Israel yesterday in a bid to alleviate conditions in the Palestinian enclave, a Hamas spokesman and sources said.
The delivery could help ease months of protests and clashes along the border between Israel and Hamas-run Gaza, which has been under a crippling Israeli blockade for more than a decade. But it was met with criticism by officials close to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, whose rival administration was not involved.
UN officials and Egypt have in recent weeks pursued indirect talks between Islamist movement Hamas and Israel. Israeli officials however refused comment on the delivery.
A spokesman for the United Nations Secretary General hailed Qatar’s $60 million donation for the fuel, which is expected to be spent over several months.
“Additional fuel for the Gaza power plant remains the fastest and most immediate way to increase electricity and help alleviate the humanitarian and related public health needs on the ground,” Stephane Dujarric said at a briefing in New York.
He said two trucks carrying 70,000 litres of fuel had entered, while deliveries were set to increase to 15 trucks daily in the coming days.
A Palestinian source at the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Gaza — the only goods crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel — earlier put the number at six trucks and a far higher number of litres. —Agencies