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March 23, 2012 10:18 am

Fuel from Israel Calms Gaza Energy Crisis

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Flotilla's humanitiarian aid en route to the Kerem Shalom Crossing in June, 2010. The aid was unloaded at the Gaza border crossing but was refused by Hamas. Photo: wiki commons.

For the first time in nearly a year, diesel fuel has made its way into Gaza from Israel.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, normally refuses to accept Egyptian fuel – which helps keep the only power plant in Gaza operational – going through Israel’s Kerem Shalom border crossing.

Recent power outages, driven by Hamas’s refusal to accept the Egyptian diesel going through Israel and Egypt’s crackdown on smuggled fuel entering into Gaza, have led to Hamas’s change of course on Friday.

450,000 liters of industrial diesel, enough to power the Gaza plant for one day crossed from Kerem Shalom and according to a Reuters’ report, talks are underway for another shipment soon.

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“The decision to buy heavy-duty diesel from Egypt and not Israel was made by Hamas.  Over the last year, the government in Gaza has gradually stopped buying diesel from Israel and increased its purchases from Egypt. This is also the source of the recent power problems in the Strip, including the local power plant shutting down,” the IDF said in a statement earlier this year.

Hamas, which claims it cannot control certain groups from firing rockets into Israel from Gaza, had been rationing electricity for over a month before today’s import from Israel.

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