Further violence by militant Jewish settlers in Hebron

Other News Materials 6 December 2008 20:12 (UTC +04:00)

Violence by militant Jewish settlers in the West Bank city of Hebron continued Saturday when settlers set fire to a Palestinian family's home, eyewitnesses reported.

The accounts said two Palestinian policemen suffered smoke poisoning when coming to rescue the family from the flames, dpa reported.

The incident was the latest in a series of acts of revenge against Palestinian residents carried out by Jewish militants triggered when Israeli police on Thursday forcefully cleared a house in Hebron of Jewish occupiers.

Since then, by Palestinian authority accounts, at least 30 Palestinians have been wounded, five in shooting incicents, carried out by militant Jews.

In addition, five houses, two moscques and nine cars have been set on fire in the city, in which some 800 radical and violence-prone Jewish settlers live among 200,000 Palestinians.

Meanwhile in the Gaza Strip, the strip's power plant was due to shut down on Sunday morning after consuming a limited shipment of fuel that was allowed into Gaza two days ago, a Palestinian official said Saturday.

"The plant will close by early Sunday as the last amount of diesel ran out," said Jamal al-Derdasawi, an official at the station.

Israel allowed four reduced shipments of fuel to enter the Gaza Strip since it sealed off the cargo crossing point early last month due to a flare up in violence.

The plant supplies electricity to some 800,000 out of the Gaza Strip's 1.5 million residents. It needs some two million litres of fuel per week for its operations, but on Thursday Israel permitted shipments totalling about one-fourth that amount.

Al-Derdasawi called on human rights organizations to pressure Israel into allowing diesel for the only power plant in Gaza Strip as Muslim residents prepare to celebrate Greater Bairam feast on Monday.

The station produces 25 per cent of power in Gaza while Israel supplies the Strip directly with most of the remaining electricity. Overloading however has damaged some of the networks from Israel, widening the power shortage.