Israeli authorities on Sunday banned all fuel shipments into the blockaded Gaza Strip, according to a Palestinian security official.
“Israel prevented the entry of all fuel transfers, including Qatari-funded shipments, into Gaza,” the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
On Friday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered a halt to fuel shipments to the Palestinian territory following protests on Gaza border, in which seven Palestinians were martyred and scores injured.
On Sunday, Israeli daily Haaretz said that Israeli security officials had opposed Lieberman’s decision to halt fuel shipment into the blockaded enclave.
The officials, according to Haaretz, believe that it was impossible to pressure Hamas – which rules Gaza – and completely halt all shipments without worsening the humanitarian situation in the strip.
Last week, Haaretz reported that a deal had been struck with Qatar by which the latter would finance fuel procurements for Gaza.
Since 2007, when Hamas seized the Gaza Strip from rival Palestinian faction Hamas, the coastal enclave has groaned under an Israeli blockade that has deprived its two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.
More than 200 Palestinians have been martyred and thousands more injured by Israeli army fire in anti-occupation protests along Gaza border since late March.
Protesters demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade on Gaza and the “right of return” to their homes and villages in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
Reporting by Nour Abu Aisha in Gaza City, Palestine
Writing by Mohamed Sabry Emam Muhammed