Israel lifts Gaza fuel restriction after calm returns
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Israel lifts Gaza fuel restriction after calm returns

Move comes a week after Jerusalem halved the supply following rocket fire by Palestinian terrorists

A tanker delivers fuel to the Nuseirat power plant in the Gaza Strip on October 24, 2018. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
A tanker delivers fuel to the Nuseirat power plant in the Gaza Strip on October 24, 2018. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Israel has lifted a restriction on fuel delivered to Gaza for electricity, a defense official said Monday, a week after cutting the flow by half over a series of violent incidents.

COGAT, A unit of the Defense Ministry that serves as its military liaison to the Palestinians, announced on August 26 it was halving the amount of fuel allowed into Gaza from its territory, after three rockets were fired at the Jewish state the day before.

Israel responded at the time with airstrikes against the Gaza Strip’s ruling Hamas terror group, which openly seeks Israel’s destruction.

A series of other violent incidents in August preceded that.

A further round occurred on August 27, when Gaza terrorists fired a mortar round across the border and an Israeli aircraft struck a Hamas post in northern Gaza in response.

There have not been projectile launches from Gaza since.

Illustrative: Palestinian children do their homework by candlelight during a power outage in Gaza City on September 11, 2017. (AFP Photo/Mahmud Hams)

Since the outbreak of protests on the Gaza border last year, Israel has intermittently taken a number of steps to curb outbreaks of violence from the coastal territory, such as closing border crossings, cutting fuel shipments and reducing the permitted fishing area off the coast of the Strip. It has rolled back such moves following decreases in violence.

A deal was brokered several months ago by UN and Egyptian officials to end several violent flareups in recent months between Israel and Hamas, which have fought three devastating wars since 2008, and to help stabilize the territory and prevent a humanitarian collapse.

Fuel deliveries, which are coordinated with the United Nations and paid for by Gulf state Qatar, were part of that truce agreement.

The Gaza Strip suffers from electricity shortages and the Qatari fuel has boosted public power to around 10 hours a day, up from as little as four.

Last month’s rocket attack came amid heightened tensions throughout the Middle East, as Israel squared off against Iran and its proxies in multiple countries.

Tehran provides tens of millions of dollars each year to terror groups in the Gaza Strip, mainly to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas, which rules the enclave.

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