Gaza fuel crisis grows as smuggling from Egypt declines

Gaza fuel crisis grows as smuggling from Egypt declines
# 25 September 2012 01:55 (UTC +04:00)
Baku_APA. The fuel smuggled to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip through tunnels with Egypt have declined within the last five days to 70 percent, leading the fuel crisis in the coastal enclave to deteriorate, officials said Monday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Mohamed al-Abadela, spokesman of the Gas Stations Association in the Gaza Strip, told Xinhua that the amount of fuel used for cars and electric generators dropped from 600,000 liters to 200, 000 liters per day.

"The percentage of fuel that enters the Gaza Strip through the tunnels is only 30 percent of the Gaza Strip’s needs," said al- Abadela, adding that "this is due to strict Egyptian security measures and closing down dozens of tunnels."

The Egyptian security forces carried out intensive security measures and shut down hundreds of smuggling tunnels that were dug underneath the borderline between Gaza and Egypt following an armed attack on Aug. 5 that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers in Sinai.

Al-Abadela said his association started to deliver shares of fuel to all gas stations in the Gaza Strip following the same program of delivery adopted in the previous crises.

He added that members of the association and fuel dealers are holding daily contacts with the Egyptian side, asking them to allow the sufficient amounts of fuel to avoid the crisis.

He also called on both the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in the West Bank and Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip to resolve the crisis.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Abu al-Amreen, spokesman of the Palestinian Energy Corporation, which belongs to Hamas in the Gaza Strip, revealed that the Gaza Strip on Monday bought 600,000 liters of industrial diesel from Israel for the first time in two months to operate Gaza’s only power station.

The Egyptian security measures and the closure of tunnels have created a shortage of fuel in the Gaza Strip, he said, adding that his corporation has demanded the Israeli fuel to keep the only power station in Gaza operating.
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