Gaza crisis reaches Gaza’s hospitals 17Nov09 November 18, 2009

Ma’an News Agency -  17 November 2009

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The domestic gas crisis has taken root in hospitals following the prohibition of its entry for over a month as Israel moves fuel transfer infrastructure from the Nahal Oz terminal to the Kerem Shalom crossing.

The movement of infrastructure will see Nahal Oz shut down for unknown reasons. Following Israel’s announcement that it intended to close the crossing, the Palestinian Authority said it would investigate the matter and ensure adequate fuel was transferred into the Strip despite the disruptions. Kerem Shalom is not equipped to transfer fuel.

Media spokesman for the Association of oil companies’ owners in Gaza Muhammad Al-Abadla confirmed on Monday afternoon that the gas crisis reached the hospitals of Gaza. The fuel source is used in part to boil water for the sterilization of hospital equipment, for heating some wards as well as powering stoves in the kitchens of the facilities. Al-Abadla appealed to all concerned parties to put pressure on the Israeli side to allow the amount of gas essentially needed in Gaza.

Al-Abadla said there were some “Israeli promises” to the concerned parties, which includes the Public Authority’s Office in Ramallah, to pump large quantities of gas through the Nahal Oz terminal on Tuesday.

The official made clear that his association does not mind receiving gas through the Kerem Shalom border if it is well-prepared to receive the more than 500 tons of gas needed to meet the needs of Palestinians in Gaza.

Al-Abadla concluded by stating that, according to Israeli information, Gaza needs 400 tons of gas per day. He further pointed out that the companies in Gaza have no debts to Israeli companies.


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