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Egypt seizes fuel en route to Gaza
Published Wednesday 10/10/2012 (updated) 12/10/2012 09:58
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EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma'an) -- Police in north Sinai on Wednesday detained two suspected smugglers and seized 3,000 liters of fuel destined for the Gaza Strip, Egyptian security officials said.

Officers arrested two men and confiscated their truck carrying 29 barrels of fuel near Bir el-Abd. The men told police they were planning to smuggle the fuel into the Gaza Strip through underground tunnels, security officials told Ma'an.

In Gaza, benzene smuggled from Egypt has eased the fuel crisis and reduced petrol queues at gas stations, said Mohammad al-Abadleh, a board member of the council of gas company owners.

Israel allowed the import of domestic-use gas to resume on Tuesday, after closing the Kerem Shalom crossing for Jewish holidays, he said.

Al-Abadleh said talks were being held with Egypt to ease security restrictions and increase the amount of fuel imported through the Rafah border crossing.

He told Ma'an that Gaza's fuel crisis would be resolved if Israel allowed fuel donated by Qatar to enter the enclave. Israel has held up the Qatari fuel for 45 days, causing electricity outages due to shortages at the sole power generator in Gaza.

In July, Qatar began sending monthly shipments of fuel via Egypt to ease a crisis in Gaza, which transits via Israel in accordance with existing arrangements.
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1 ) Power / Crisis
10/10/2012 19:55
The deal is: Egypt pretends that it supplies Gaza with some fuel and electricity and Gaza pretends that they are paying for it. People will live with 18 hrs blackouts for awhile, but everybody - especially Hamas and Egypt rulers looks good.

2 ) EE / UK
10/10/2012 19:57
Palestinians should contact Sinai Bedouins - they know how to handle natural gas and might help.

3 ) Arnold / Canada
10/10/2012 20:32
If the fuel is from Qatar shipping through Egypt then let it in. I see no reason for Israel to stop it. This comment by myself- a pro-Israel Canadian.

4 ) USAUSA / USA
11/10/2012 00:18
Israel isn't stopping anything. Egypt is running out of cash and fuel - and Gaza has cash. Egypt does not want their scarce supplies going to Gaza. Amazing Egypt quit talking Israeli cash for their natural gas. That now goes nowhere at all and Egypt is broke.
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