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Deputy PM says fuel crisis is political move to aggravate siege on Gaza

February 17, 2014 at 11:16 pm

The Palestinian government in Gaza has called the electricity and fuel shortages “totally fabricated political crises”, and accused the Israeli occupation and its “tools” of trying to aggravate the siege on Gaza. Despite this, said the Deputy Prime Minister, Israeli plans will fail and the Palestinian people will triumph, just as they have done in the past.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Dr. Mohamed Awad, who is also the besieged territory’s Foreign Minister, said, “Our analysis of the fuel problem is that it is entirely political, related to Israel’s blockade as the Zionists prevent even the most basic requirements of a decent life from reaching the people in the Gaza Strip.” He added that there are “other forces” involved in enforcing the siege.

Dr. Awad called on Egypt to fulfil its promise to supply fuel to the Gaza Strip and increase the amount of electricity provided under an agreement concluded with officials in Cairo. “We are working around the clock to reach a solution to this problem, and have communicated with countries which are ready to provide Gaza with fuel, which would help us to solve the electricity problem.” He pointed out that his government has transferred $2 million as a down payment for the provision of fuel, emphasising that a reliance on fuel from Israel reinforces the occupation, strengthens its control and increases the burden and the suffering of the Palestinian people due to the significant price rises. The Deputy Prime Minister called on the Arab League to intervene to resolve the crisis and work to break the siege.

He also touched on the contacts his government has been establishing with governments and humanitarian organisations to resolve the crisis, mentioning specifically contacts with the Egyptian government, Qatar and Algeria to arrange for fuel deliveries.

Condemning the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah for stopping the money paid by the European Union for fuel to generate electricity, Dr. Awad accused the PA of holding onto the cash to resolve its own financial crisis and create a sense of dissatisfaction at the government in Gaza. He urged the Palestinian people “not to be dragged into believing rumours and misleading information with regard to the crisis.” His government, he said, will publish the facts.