Hamas says it will work to end fuel strike

Other News Materials 28 April 2008 03:00 (UTC +04:00)

A Hamas official said Sunday his organization would urge the Palestinian fuel importers association in Gaza to end its strike and resume deliveries to the enclave, the dpa reported.

The association announced a strike about a month ago, saying it was protesting Israeli limits on fuel allowed into the Gaza Strip.

Israel officials have accused Hamas of influencing the association and coordinating the work stoppage to create a humanitarian crisis.

About 1 million litres of gas and diesel are stuck at the Nahal Oz fuel crossing point, and Israel said that once those reserves are imported they will agree to send in more, but only as per the quantities allowed in under the sanctions on the enclave.

Israel began limiting fuel supplies last year to the Gaza Strip, which was overtaken by Hamas after it ousted Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, has said it had to suspend food aid distribution and sanitation works as it did not have enough fuel, and other aid groups were also saying their operations were curtailed.

Meanwhile, cooking gas in the strip was running low, and bakeries were closing down.