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Israelis Allow Fuel into Gaza as Palestinian Authority Opposes Plan

October 10, 2018 News

Illustrative example of goods shipped to Gaza. Photo courtesy of the Israel Tax Authority.

Israel and an Arab state are coordinating to help Gaza, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) is not happy about it. Qatar has provided funding for multiple truckloads of fuel for the power plant in the Gaza Strip, and the first of the trucks entered the coastal enclave on Tuesday via Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing, according to the Ma’an News Agency. The report by Ma’an, a Palestinian agency, said that because the Qatari support was not done in conjunction with the PA, the Palestinian governmental body led by PA President Mahmoud Abbas was opposed to the assistance. The Palestinian Authority is run by Fatah, the political rival of Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip.

The PA’s objecting to providing their own people in Gaza with assistance is not new. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had lamented it last week and his Arabic-language spokesman Ofir Gendelman leveled his own criticism of Abbas in an Arabic Twitter post on Tuesday, the same day the Qatari-funded fuel was delivered to Gaza.

“The end of hypocrisy and neglect: Palestinian President Abbas has instructed to send immediate humanitarian aid to the earthquake victims in indonesia, but it is forbidden to send even one bottle of water or one litre of fuel to the Gaza Strip to help the people of his people who suffer the oppression of Hamas terrorist and the stranglehold imposed on them himself!” said the post, which was translated by the Microsoft tool on Twitter.

Last week, in comments with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Netanyahu had slammed the refusal of Abbas—also known as Abu Mazen—to aid the Palestinians in Gaza. “In the last year Abu Mazen has made the situation in Gaza more difficult by choking off the flow of funds from the Palestinian Authority to Gaza. As a result of this chokehold, pressures have been created there and as a result of the pressures, from time to time Hamas attacks Israel at a relatively low intensity but the chokehold is tightening,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office.

“Abu Mazen has interfered in all UN attempts to ease the plight in Gaza, including now and, of course, many countries, today I can say that even the donor countries, are condemning him for this, and rightly so.”

While Israel and others are condemning the Palestinian government for not doing enough to help Gaza, the United States is praising Israel and several Arab nations for their work in bringing fuel into the Strip.

US Middle East envoy and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt posted to Twitter on Tuesday, “The US appreciates the efforts of the UN, Egypt, Qatar and Israel to alleviate the humanitarian situation in Gaza and efforts to achieve the goal of an enduring cease fire. The US thanks Qatar for its contribution to providing additional electricity to Gaza for the coming period.”

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, October 10, 2018)

 

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