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Qatar continues to pump fuel to Gaza, says Palestinian official

February 20, 2019 at 4:18 am

Palestinians queue to receive the first stage of the Qatari aid at a post office in Gaza City, Gaza on 26 January 2019. [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency]

The sole power plant in the occupied Gaza Strip is still receiving Qatari fuel via the Karam Abu Salem commercial crossing, the station’s director stressed on Monday.

Rafiq Maliha told Al-Khaleej Online that the strip’s power plan had received “590,000 litres of fuel” within the framework of a Qatari grant, adding that the aid was still pumping through the crossing.

“Neither the Qatari nor the Palestinian authorities have informed us [plant’s administration] of potentially halting the fuel supply,” Maliha stressed.

In recent days, Israeli media published some rumours, claiming that the Qatari authorities had decided to stop the fuel supply to Gaza’s power station.

Qatar: We will continue to support Gaza

Israeli daily Haaretz recently said that the Qatari government had paid $1.1 billion to Palestinians in the occupied enclave between 2012 and 2018, noting that in 2018 alone the Gulf state paid “$200 million for humanitarian aid, fuel and government salaries, and pledged to provide hundreds of millions of dollars more through United Nations aid groups.”

Qatar was also reported to have disbursed $50 million to United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), which was on the verge of winding down many of its programs after the United States decided to stop funding the organization.

Qatar stepped in after many in the international community did not fulfil their pledges to rebuild the Gaza Strip after it was hit by Israel in three major offensives; 2008, 2012 and 2014 wars. These wars turned the coastal enclave – which has been under strict Israeli siege for 12 years – into a pile of rubble.

At the same time, the Palestinian Authority (PA) – led by Mahmoud Abbas – has imposed punitive measures on the Strip as part of the ongoing feud between his Fatah party and Hamas. This has had an impact on paralysing Gaza’s economy and diminishing its ability to offer the needed medical and welfare services to its inhabitants.