( dpa )- Israel will continue to apply "pressure" on the Gaza Strip to end rocket attacks, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Monday night, just hours after he authorized a one-time shipment of fuel for its power plant.
"We will put pressure on Gaza. We care that in Sderot and in the Western Negev there will be quiet," he told the influential Herzliya Conference, adding that "our quiet is more important to me than their [ Gazan's ] quiet."
The Israeli military said there had been a significant decline in the number of rockets fired into Israel in recent days, compared to the week before, which saw a large increase in rockets and mortar shells.
Sderot , a working-class town, and the Western Negev areas received the overwhelming majority of the Palestinian militants' fire.
The industrial diesel shipment Barak authorized is scheduled to enter Gaza on Tuesday, and is expected to at least partially relieve power cuts, which have affected more than half of the 1.5 million residents of the Gaza Strip.
While Barak also authorized the import of medicine, a spokesman for UNRWA, the UN's agency for Palestinian refugees, which supplies aid to over half of Gaza's population, said it may have to suspend food distribution, unless it is able to import plastic bags, petrol for vehicles and other items within the next few days.
Israel has been imposing a total lock-down on Gaza since last Thursday night, which officials said was a result of the rocket fire.