Fuel shortage in Gaza Strip

GAZA - A senior Palestinian official said Israel had dramatically reduced fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip yesterday after threatening to impose sanctions in response to rocket attacks from the impoverished Hamas-ruled territory.

But Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak, who gave the green light last week for cuts to Gaza's fuel and electricity supplies, said the measure had not yet been implemented.

Mojahed Salama, head of the Palestinian Authority's Petrol Agency, said yesterday's fuel imports showed a 40percent to 50percent reduction in diesel and benzine supplies and a 12percent reduction in fuel for Gaza's power plant.

The UN has told Israel it must not inflict collective punishment by denying vital supplies to Gaza's 1,5million residents. - Reuters