ICRC supplies fuel to Gaza Strip to ease crisis

MAAN NEWS AGENCY FEB 23 2012

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The International Committee of the Red Cross on Thursday supplied 150,000 liters of fuel to the ministry of health in the Gaza Strip.

“The lack of fuel restricts the functioning of vital public services, especially hospitals,” Irfan Sulejmani, the head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Gaza, said in a statement.

The supplies will help ensure that 13 hospitals can maintain essential services for the next 10 days.

“Without these emergency supplies, the treatment of thousands of patients could be interrupted and lives endangered,” Sulejmani added.

Gaza depends heavily on fuel smuggled in from Egypt to keep its lone power station on line. But as supplies were severely reduced from Egypt, the station was shut down last Tuesday, and Gaza has faced blackouts of up to 18 hours per day.

Gaza’s energy supply is bad at the best of times, with a rickety infrastructure system badly degraded during fighting over the past five years between Israel and Hamas. Gaza officials say Israel’s closure regime has blocked the import of equipment to upgrade the power station and network.


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