Gaza Siege: New Supplies Provide Temporary Relief

26 Jun
5:56 AM

Gaza’s only power plant is still running today, after fuel was permitted entry into the Strip via Israel, just a day after the power authority warned that the plant would shut down. Additionally, 20 truckloads of pharmaceuticals and medical disposables are to soon arrive in the besieged coastal enclave.Yesterday, an agreement was reached that would allow the importation of 250,000 liters of synthetic diesel to Gaza’s power generation station, according to Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, deputy head of the energy authority in Gaza.

The fuel aims to continue the supply of electricity for eight hours daily. Khalil added that this is enough for one day, explaining that there are other suggestions to reduce the taxes on diesel.

Qatar had agreed, in March, to continue to donate money to fuel Gaza’s power plant for three months, according to Ma’an. The donated fuel was expected to run out on Tuesday.

Furthermore, Raed Fattouh, the person in charge of coordinating goods which enter Gaza, told Ma’an News Agency that more than 400 truckloads of goods were shipped in on Wednesday, including diesel fuel to run the power plant.

Gasoline and humanitarian aid was also shipped into the area, according to Fattouh. In addition, two truckloads of cement were shipped in to be used for UN-funded projects.

Jawad Awwad, Palestinian Minister of Health, says that his ministry has completed the necessary procedures to ship 20 truckloads of drugs and medical disposables to the region, accroding to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency.

A severe shortages of medicine — in addition to the fuel crisis — has forced Gaza’s main hospitals to suspend all non-emergency surgery cases previously queued.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Health distributed 1 million New Israeli Shekels (just under $300,000 US) to the hospitals in order to buy fuel supplies to power their electricity generators.

Gaza has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2006, leading to frequent humanitarian crises. Backed by Egypt, Israel tightened the blockade in 2007, following an election victory by Hamas.

The medicinal aid is expected to stock out in weeks.

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