On Friday morning Israel allowed more Qatar-funded fuel shipments into the blockaded Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing. According to a Palestinian security source; “the Israeli authorities opened the crossing to allow trucks laden with Qatari fuel into the strip.” The crossing is usually shut on Fridays and Saturdays to coincide with the weekend in Israel.
According to the source, who spoke anonymously due to restrictions on speaking to media, said a total of four trucks carrying 150,000 liters of fuel had entered the Gaza Strip en route to the enclave’s sole functioning power plant. Tuesday saw the first pair of fuel-loaded trucks entering Gaza from Israel through Kerem Shalom.
On the same day, Stephane Dujarric, a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said that 15 fuel-laden trucks would soon begin entering Gaza on a daily basis.
Dujarric also expressed the UN secretary-general’s appreciation for Qatar’s $60-million contribution to the fuel-shipment scheme, which is ostensibly aimed at alleviating the difficult living conditions faced by blockaded Gaza’s Palestinian inhabitants.
On Tuesday, the Ramallah-based Palestinian government in reference to the fuel shipments announced its “total rejection” of what it described as “suspicious projects”.
The fuel shipments are part of a scheme aimed at wrecking Palestinian unity by uncoupling Gaza from the West Bank, “thus derailing the Palestinian national cause,” According to Ramallah.
Israeli daily Haaretz reported that a deal had been struck with Qatar by which the latter would finance fuel procurements for Gaza, last week. Since 2007, when Hamas seized the Gaza Strip from rival Palestinian faction Hamas, the coastal enclave has groaned under an Israeli blockade that has deprived its two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.