Gaza official says Egypt crackdown causing fuel crisis
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Gaza official says Egypt crackdown causing fuel crisis

Military operation against smuggling tunnels said to drastically reduce supply in Hamas-controlled territory

Palestinians wait to fill gas canisters at a fuel station in Khan Younis (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)
Palestinians wait to fill gas canisters at a fuel station in Khan Younis (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Officials in the Gaza Strip said Tuesday that an Egyptian military crackdown on smuggling tunnels has led to dire shortages of fuel in the Palestinian territory.

Fuel used to be brought from Egypt to Gaza through the tunnels. But Hamas spokesman Islam Shahwan said Egypt has closed or destroyed dozens of the tunnels along the Egypt-Gaza border in recent weeks, and almost no tunnels are now in use.

Palestinians are lining up at gas stations, and daily power outages last up to 14 hours.

Mohammed Al-Abdullah, spokesman for the Gaza oil companies union, said only a few gas stations are stocked with fuel reserves. He says fuel transfers from Israel will be limited because of upcoming Jewish holidays, and will not suffice for Gaza’s electrical plant.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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