Home Middle East & Turkey Middle East Israel ready for another blockade of Gaza?

Israel ready for another blockade of Gaza?

fuel deliveries
  • 39
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    39
    Shares

News Analysis |

Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered an immediate halt to fuel deliveries headed to the besieged Gaza Strip in response to what he said were attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians, his office announced on Friday.

The announcement on Friday follows the killing of six Palestinians by Israeli forces during the ongoing March of Return protests.

“Israel 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 [Israeli] soldiers and Israeli citizens on the other,” the statement from Lieberman’s office read.

A Qatari official, speaking to Reuter’s news agency on Sunday, said Doha planned to help with Gaza’s power crisis “at the request of donor states in the UN, to prevent an escalation of the existing humanitarian disaster”.

Qatari-bought fuel began arriving on Tuesday in a bid to alleviate the humanitarian situation in the besieged enclave and prevent any escalation in Israeli-Palestinian violence.

“The Qatari fuel to the Gaza strip’s power plant today is aimed at partially improving electricity [supply] in Gaza,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said at the time.

The fuel deliveries were aimed at easing months of protests along the separation fence east of Gaza, which has been under a crippling Israeli and Egyptian blockade for more than a decade.

Read more: Palestinian killed in Israel strike in north Gaza: ministry

Last week, Lieberman’s office announced a further reduction to the Gaza’s fishing zone, from nine nautical miles to six.

Lieberman said the measure was in response to “riots” along the fence dividing Israel and Gaza and a midweek beach protest in which fishing boats and demonstrators gathered at the northwest end of the Gaza Strip.

The announcement on Friday follows the killing of six Palestinians by Israeli forces during the ongoing March of Return protests.

The United Nations has warned that Israel’s 11-year blockade of the strip has resulted in a “catastrophic” humanitarian situation.

Under the UN-brokered deal, Qatar pays for the fuel which is then delivered through Israel with UN monitoring, a diplomatic source said.

Read more: Israel says medic killed in Gaza was ‘human shield’

A Qatari official, speaking to Reuter’s news agency on Sunday, said Doha planned to help with Gaza’s power crisis “at the request of donor states in the UN, to prevent an escalation of the existing humanitarian disaster”.

Israel’s energy minister, Yuval Steinitz, told Reuters on Monday that Qatar “was trying to help” prevent a Gaza flare-up.

Hamas seized control of Gaza from Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA) in a 2007 civil war, a year after it unexpectedly won elections in the coastal enclave, triggering a crisis in Palestinian politics.


  • 39
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    39
    Shares

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.