One million liters of diesel piped to Gaza
Israel yesterday resumed piping industrial diesel fuel to the Palestinian side of the Nahal Oz fuel depot, transferring to the Gaza Strip about a million liters, enough to operate Gaza's power plant for at least three days.
The Nahal Oz depot was attacked on April 9 by terrorists who murdered two Israeli civilians employed there.
The plant's director, Derar Abu Sisi, confirmed that two fuel containers, paid for by the European Union, had reached the power plant, with enough fuel to meet basic electricity needs for the next few days.
A large amount of diesel was also transfered last week, through the Alon Dor company. Defense officials stress that these shipments of industrial fuel are for operating the power plant, not for other uses.
Palestinians complained yesterday about the ongoing shortage of gasoline, supply of which was not resumed. Defense officials responded that Israel is not transfering fuel for transportation purposes, and that there are considerable amounts of diesel and gasoline for vehicles on the Palestinian side of the fuel depot, but that the Hamas government is not pumping it, apparently in an effort to generate a humanitarian crisis and blame it on Israel.
The United Nations' Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs yesterday issued data on the repercussions of the fuel shortage in the Gaza Strip. UNRWA's transportation fleet will remain idle starting tomorrow, the OCHA statement said. This means that distribution of food packages to 650,000 refugees will stop, and the orderly operation of 214 schools and 19 health clinics will be disrupted, along with the collection of solid waste.
In addition, garbage is no longer being collected by 12 local councils, impacting half a million Gazans. Trash collection will soon be suspended by the other councils.
According to OCHA, hospitals run by the Palestinian health ministry have fuel supplies for between 33 and 170 hours. Hospitals belonging to non-governmental organizations have enough fuel left for less than a week. The major pharmacies in the Strip, which are powered by generators, ran out of fuel on Tuesday, jeopardizing inoculations for 55,000 babies.