No More Fuel Transfers to Gaza Due to 'Terror and Violence,' Israeli Defense Minister Says

Avigdor Lieberman announced his decision following clashes along the Gaza-Israel border fence

Palestinian protesters gather at the Israel-Gaza border, east of Gaza city, on October 12, 2018.
AFP

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday ordered an immediate halt in fuel deliveries to Gaza following clashes along the Gaza-Israel border.

Earlier Friday, a number of truckloads of diesel fuel funded by Qatar entered Gaza via Israel.

Later in the day, protests erupted along the border, during which protesters threw explosive devices and launched airborne firebombs, according to the Israeli military. The army also reported that several Gazans attempted to cross the border fence and approach IDF positions. Six Palestinians were reported killed by Israeli live fire.

Israeli trucks carrying diesel fuel entering Kerem Shalom cargo crossing on the Israel Gaza border, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018.
Tsafrir Abayov/AP

In response, Lieberman said that "Israeli will not tolerate a situation in which fuel tankers are allowed to enter Gaza on the one hand, while terror and violence are used against IDF soldiers and Israeli citizens on the other."

In addition, Lieberman said, "Hamas continues to welcome terrorist attacks and encourages the Palestinians in the West Bank to carry out attacks against Israeli citizens."

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It was not the first time Lieberman has punished Gazans by stopping fuel transfers. In August, the defense minister shut down the Kerem Shalom border crossing for fuel and gas ln light of weekly border clashes. 

Kerem Shalom is the only crossing for goods into the Gaza Strip – there are two other crossings, but their use is limited. The Erez crossing is used by people only, while the Rafah crossing, on the border with Egypt, opens from time to time to allow the passage of goods and construction materials.

The fuel was funded by Qatar, despite Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' opposition. Despite the Israeli security establishment warning against moving forward with reconciliation without Abbas' involvement, it supported the fuel transfer.