UK Government concerned over Gaza fuel cuts

LONDON, Jan 11 (APP)- The British Government on Friday expressed its deep concern over impact on Gaza of fuel cuts by Israel and demanded immediate lifting of these restrictions.

“We continue to be deeply concerned by the growing humanitarian impact of restrictions by the Government of Israel on industrial diesel supplies to Gaza, particularly on the most vulnerable sections of the population. We welcome Israel’s recent decision to increase the supply of industrial diesel and continue to urge them to lift all restrictions on fuel with immediate effect,” Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Secretary for International Development Douglas Alexander said in a joint statement released by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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They also spoke against rockets attacks from Gaza into Israel but said the humanitarian needs of people who are in no way associated with the rocket attacks should not, however, be compromised.

Speaking of the difficulties being faced by the people of Gaza, Miliband and Alexander said the reports indicate that the Gaza Power Station had cut electricity production by thirty per cent because the reductions in industrial diesel supplies since October have reportedly left reserves near exhaustion.

“The resulting power cuts had left vital infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, water and sewage systems, as well as households, reliant on backup generators. This further aggravated the already difficult humanitarian situation in Gaza.”

The British officials urged all parties to focus their efforts on moving forward the process started in Annapolis and Paris in December 2007.

Last December, the UK pledged up to US $500 million over three years depending on progress in the Middle East peace process including the easing of movement and access restrictions.