Israel sending fuel to Gaza Strip

March 23, 2012 at 2:25 PM

GAZA, March 23 (UPI) -- Israel is to send diesel fuel to the Gaza Strip Friday in response to a critical fuel shortage, sources told Ynetnews.com.

The Palestinian Authority is to pay for about 118,877 gallons of fuel, to be transferred at the Kerem Shalom crossing.

It would mark the first time the PA would pay for the fuel, as a result of a decision by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian sources said.

The fuel will allow the Gaza power plant to operate at full capacity for the first time in more than a month, but the fuel is expected to last only a few days.

Israel's Dor Alon fuel company will supply the diesel fuel, said Nazmi Mhana, director-general of the Palestinian Crossings Authority.

Mhana said Abbas' decision came in response to the need to solve power-supply shortages at institutions including Gaza hospitals.

In the past few years, the Hamas government has been able to transfer diesel fuel through Gaza's smuggling tunnels but Egypt has ended the practice, Ynetnews said.

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