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Egypt considering relief for Palestinians

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Egypt is currently making arrangements to transport Qatari-funded fuel to neighbouring Gaza

Palestinian students light candles to study during the power cut  (AFP Photo)

Palestinian students light candles to study during the power cut
(AFP Photo)

“Despite current challenges facing Egypt in the Sinai, the country has been studying the most appropriate ways to relieve Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” according to the Foreign Ministry.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Badr Abdelatty said in a statement on Thursday that Egypt will continue to provide “every means of support,” to the Palestinian people.

He added that Egypt is making the necessary arrangements to transport fuel, purchased through a Qatari grant, to the Gaza Strip.

The Gaza Strip which is home to 1.7m people has faced deteriorating humanitarian conditions which were exacerbated by a storm which caused heavy flooding and led to the displacement of thousands.

As a result of the fuel shortage, the strip’s only power plant stopped operations on 1 November. But after a month and a half of shutdown, operations resumed on Sunday when fuel purchased by Qatar was transferred to the strip.

Abdelatty said that the Egyptian government is coordinating with their Palestinian counterparts to make appropriate arrangement to transport the fuel across Sinai and into Gaza.

The spokesman said that security concerns in Sinai in the past few months have obstructed the transport of fuel supplies.

The ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July was followed by a surge in militancy in the Sinai Peninsula which targeted security personnel.

It was also followed by a change in Egyptian policy towards the Gaza Strip. Egypt began shutting down and reopening the Rafah Border Crossing several times. Shutdowns would last for longer than a week in many cases.

Egypt also began cracking down on the operations of illegal tunnels beneath its borders with Gaza.

Gaza has been under a land, air and sea blockade since 2007 when Hamas took over the strip. The underground tunnels have been vital in supplying residents with food, medicine, fuel, building materials and other necessities.


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