Chief of the Israeli liaison committee at the Eritz checkpoint in northern Gaza Strip, denied in a statement, faxed to press today , that Israel has not recently deprived Gaza of fuel supplies.
Senior officer, Nair Peres said that what has been reported about stoppage of ambulance vehicles in the Gaza Strip was just a baseless allegation by what he termed ‘ terror groups’ in Gaza, aimed at sabotaging good neighborhood relations between Israel and Gaza, at the expense of the Gaza population.
He added that the latest attacks on the Nahal Auza and Kerem Shalom crossings, which are used for channeling fuel and goods to the Strip have been intended at damaging the interests of the ‘Gazan’ population.
The Israeli officer claimed that shortly before the attack on the Nahal Auz, Israel used to pump fuel into Gaza and that Israel continued to ship fuel even after the attack had occurred.
‘ However, on Thursday midday, there was an attempt by Palestinians to bomb a truck, loaded with fuel, near the crossing’, he pointed out.
‘ There are large quantities of Benzine and gasoline at the Palestinian side of Nahal Auz crossing, yet the Palestinians refuse to receive such quantities for the past three weeks. Such quantities can meet humanitarian needs, ambulances, agricultural purposes and fishing industry as well as the local municipalities in Gaza’, he explained.
The Israeli officer made clear that the Palestinians should understand that the continued Hamas-led ‘terror’ will first and foremost, damage the interests of the Palestinian population in the coastal region.
The fuel crisis in Gaza has been worsened over the past few days, with Israel maintaining a strict closure of the border crossings, following a number of Palestinian resistance attacks.
Last week, the Gaza-based fuel stations society told IMEMC that there are 180,0000 liters of Benzine and gasoline at the Nahal Auz fuel terminal , however, the society refuses to receive them, demanding the Israeli side to allow more shipments of fuel to the Strip.
The coastal territory needs at least 600,0000 to 700,000 liters of fuel and an amount of 300 to 350 tons of cooking gas on daily basis. Last Wednesday, Israel shipped only 90 tons of cooking gas and 180,0000 liters of fuel, used by Gaza’s power plant in generating electricity to the besieged 1.5 million residents of Gaza.
In October of last year, Israel began reducing fuel supplies to the coastal territory and limited shipments of electricity fuel, demanding the ruling Islamist Hamas party to stop homemade fire from Gaza onto nearby Israeli towns.
The Israeli move has been branded ‘a collective punishment’ by various worldwide bodies, including the European parliament, which passed in February2008, a resolution that demands Israel to lift a 10-month-long embargo.
Israel placed Gaza under a strict closure following Hamas’s takeover of the Gaza Strip in June2007, amidst a power struggle with Fatah party of president Mahmoud Abbas, who has committed to peace negotiations with Israel.