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Entry of Qatari-funded fuel into Gaza being held up, with sides disputing who’s responsible

A fuel truck with a Qatari flag enters the Nusseirat power plant, in the central Gaza Strip, June 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
A fuel truck with a Qatari flag enters the Nusseirat power plant, in the central Gaza Strip, June 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Israeli authorities prevent 25 truckloads of Qatari-funded fuel intended for Gaza’s only power plant from entering the Strip, Hamas officials tell the terror group’s Al-Aqsa Radio station.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, which is responsible for coordinating the entry of goods into and out of Gaza, declines to comment.

A Defense Ministry official says on condition of anonymity that the fault lies on the Palestinian side, as the Palestinian Authority body responsible for coordinating with Israel had failed to inform Israel that the fuel would enter.

“As soon as the Palestinians properly coordinate with us, the fuel will enter,” the official says.

Two Palestinian officials in Gaza dismiss that rationale, saying they weren’t informed of any coordination issues and that they aren’t responsible for allowing Qatari fuel to enter. In general, they say, Qatar and the United Nations coordinate with Israel to allow fuel to enter Gaza.

Qatari has provided subsidized fuel for Gaza’s only power plant since 2018 as part of an aid package it provides to the coastal enclave. Until the recent escalation between Israel and Hamas, Jerusalem permitted the subsidies to enter in a bid to keep tensions low on its southern border.

Since the escalation, Israel has largely halted the entrance of Qatari subsidies — which in the past included millions in cash — although it recently permitted Qatari-funded fuel to begin re-entering Gaza. Israeli officials have vowed that they will not return to the status quo before the war, which they view as too favorable to the Hamas terror group, which rules the Strip.

Both Qatar and the United Nations decline to comment.

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