Israel to resume Gaza fuel flow Wednesday: defence ministry

Israel to resume Gaza fuel flow Wednesday: defence ministry
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Jerusalem: Israel will on Wednesday resume supplies of fuel to the Gaza Strip after a 12-day halt imposed over violent border clashes, the defence ministry said.

Israel suspended the desperately needed deliveries of Qatari-financed diesel on October 12, hours after Israeli troops shot dead five Palestinians who the army said broke through the border fence and attacked a military post inside Israel.

“In accordance with recommendations by security bodies it has been decided to resume the supply of ‘Qatari fuel’ from tomorrow,” the ministry statement said on Tuesday night.

On Sunday, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered the reopening of Gaza’s goods and pedestrian crossings into Israel after a four-day closure sparked by a Palestinian rocket attack into southern Israel.

His office cited “a decrease in the violent events in Gaza over the weekend and efforts Hamas made to restrain” border protests as grounds for the reopenings.

Near-daily protests along the Gaza border since March 30 against Israel’s crippling 11-year blockade of the impoverished enclave have sparked repeated clashes with the army.

More than 200 Palestinians and one Israeli have been killed in the violence.

The fuel deal, brokered by the United Nations and backed by the United States, Israel and others, briefly brought thousands of litres of diesel into Gaza daily to boost the impoverished territory’s electricity supply.

But the daily shipments to Hamas-ruled Gaza’s only power station lasted merely for three days.

Under the limited agreement Qatar, a longtime Hamas backer, was to pay $60 million for fuel to be brought into Gaza over six months.