Is­rael halts Gaza fuel de­liv­ery

Move in re­sponse to bor­der vi­o­lence that left seven Pales­tini­ans dead

The Star Malaysia - - World -

JERUSALEM: Is­rael sus­pended fuel de­liv­er­ies to Gaza in re­sponse to bor­der vi­o­lence which the Ha­mas­run health min­istry said left seven Pales­tini­ans dead in the coastal en­clave.

The Is­raeli army said five were shot dead af­ter break­ing through the bor­der fence and at­tack­ing an army post.

But the Gaza health min­istry said seven Pales­tini­ans were killed as thou­sands of pro­test­ers ap­proached the heav­ily-guarded Is­raeli bor­der.

It said four died along the fron­tier east of Al-Bureij in cen­tral Gaza, two east of Gaza City and one near Rafah in south­ern Gaza.

It named one of those killed as Mo­hammed Ab­bas, who was shot in the head.

It said all the vic­tims were males aged be­tween 17 and 29.

Is­raeli army spokesman Jonathan Con­ri­cus said around 20 Pales­tini­ans had crossed the bor­der in an “or­gan­ised at­tack” af­ter an ex­plo­sive de­vice de­stroyed a por­tion of the fence.

About five of those who got through the fence as­saulted an Is­raeli army po­si­tion and were “re­pelled”, he wrote on Twit­ter.

In re­sponse to the vi­o­lence, Is­raeli De­fence Min­is­ter Avig­dor Lieber­man or­dered de­liv­er­ies of fuel to the Pales­tinian en­clave be sus­pended.

“Fol­low­ing the se­ri­ous in­ci­dents in the Gaza Strip, the de­fence min­istry or­ders the im­me­di­ate halt to the de­liv­ery of fuel to the area,” he said in a state­ment.

Four Is­raeli tanker trucks had de­liv­ered fuel to Gaza on Fri­day morn­ing be­fore “ri­ots” broke out, Lieber­man said.

The sus­pen­sion comes just days af­ter a United Na­tions-bro­kered deal to sup­ply the ter­ri­tory with Qatari-bought fuel came into ef­fect.

The terms of the deal saw Doha, a long­time Ha­mas backer, pledge to pay US$60mil (RM249mil) for fuel to be brought into Gaza over six months to sup­ply the strip’s sole power plant.

In a rare in­ter­view re­cently, Ha­mas’ Gaza head Yahya Sin­war en­cour­aged world pow­ers to work with it to ease suf­fer­ing in the strip.

Ja­son Green­blatt, US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s peace en­voy, had hailed the fuel agree­ment.

At least 205 Pales­tini­ans have been killed by Is­raeli fire in Gaza since protests be­gan on March 30.

The ma­jor­ity were killed dur­ing bor­der demon­stra­tions, though oth­ers have died in airstrikes and tank shelling.

One Is­raeli sol­dier has been killed over the same pe­riod.

Pro­test­ers have sent in­cen­di­ary de­vices at­tached to bal­loons into Is­raeli ter­ri­tory dur­ing demon­stra­tions, which Is­rael says has caused hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars worth of dam­age to farm­land.

The pro­test­ers are de­mand­ing to be al­lowed to re­turn to lands now in­side Is­rael, from which their fam­i­lies fled or were dis­placed dur­ing the 1948 war sur­round­ing the cre­ation of the Jewish state.

They are also call­ing for Is­rael to end its crip­pling block­ade of the strip.


Seek­ing jus­tice: Mourn­ers at the fu­neral of Pales­tinian Ab­dul­lah Dagma, who was killed the day be­fore dur­ing a protest along the Is­rael- Gaza bor­der fence.

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