U.S. diplomats visit the Gaza Strip breaking 18-month-boycott following the killing of three U.S. gecurity Guards in October 2003 by a roadside bomb near the Erez military crossing.  USAID donated four oxygen generators to Gaza Strip Hospitals.

A number of U.S. diplomats visited the Gaza Strip over the past week breaking 18-month-bopycott.

The boycott was imposed following a fatal attack perpetrated against a U.S. diplomatic convoy in October 2003 in which three security guards were killed as a roadside bomb exploded near Erez military crossing.

U.S. and Israel charge that Palestinian resistance groups to be involved in the attack.

Israel claims that perpetrators of the attack are members of the Popular Resistance Committees, a faction that broke away from several other factions and is led by Jamal Abu-Samhadne.

However, no Palestinian faction, including the PRC claimed responsibility for the attack.  The PA vowed to probe the attack however, could not find enough leads to the perpetrators.

U.S. diplomats and security personnel traveled to the Strip to prepare the ground for the visit of James Wolfensohn, the Quartet’s envoy charged with supervising the Israeli pullout.  Wolfensohn is expected in Gaza soon.

On the other hand, the he United States Agency for International Development (USAID), handed over on Wednesday four oxygen generators to hospitals in the Strip.

The generators, valued in total at some $500,000, produce a mixture of air with a high concentration of oxygen for medical purposes. Hospitals in the Gaza Strip suffer from a chronic shortage of oxygen canisters.

The generators will be set up at the hospital in Beit Hanoun, in the north of the Strip, at Durra Hospital in Gaza City, at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis and at Tel Sultan Hospital in Rafah.