Wednesday, August 22, 2007

EU resumes fuel payments to Gaza

A welcome development

The EU has resumed payment for fuel shipments to the only power plant in the Gaza Strip on a provisional basis.

The EU cut off funding last Thursday because of concerns over plans by the Islamist group Hamas, which controls Gaza, to tax electricity bills.

The row left hundreds of thousands of Palestinians without electricity but most should now be getting power back.

A senior Hamas leader denied his group had any such tax plans, and said assurances had been sent to the EU.

Three fuel trucks crossed from Israel into Gaza at the Nahal Oz crossing and headed to the power plant.

The resumption of fuel-aid payments to Gaza comes after EU officials held a meeting with the Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, in the West Bank.

In a statement on Tuesday, the European Commission said it had agreed with Mr Fayyad that audits would be carried out to ensure that "fuel aid in Gaza remains properly managed".

No comments: