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Palestinian ambulances to halt due to fuel crisis
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11:53, April 20, 2008

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Palestinian health ministry's ambulances will stop working in Gaza Strip later on Saturday due to lack of fuel, an official said.

"At 6 p.m., no ambulance vehicle will be able to move and they will completely come to a halt," said Mu'awia Hassanein of the ministry's emergency department.

"After checking with gas stations, it was sure they have had no single liter of benzene," he told reporters.

Israel gradually reduced fuel shipments into Gaza since Hamas seized control of the area last June.

In recent months, Gaza petrol distributors rejected to receive fuel supplies after Israel applied more reductions to the shipments.

Israel also closed Nahal Oz fuel crossing last week following Palestinian militants attack on the spot where two workers at an Israeli gas utility were killed.

Israel says the reductions are meant to put pressure on Hamas to curb rocket attacks at Israel from Gaza.

Hamas seems to have decreased random attacks into Israeli communities and shifted to target Israeli army posts and soldiers at Gaza crossings and security fence alongside the borders.

Earlier on Saturday, three Hamas fighters were killed and 13 Israeli soldiers were wounded in a suicide attack on Kerem Shalom commercial crossing in southeast Gaza Strip.

During this week, Hamas also killed three Israeli soldiers during a fire exchange on the eastern edge of Gaza Strip.


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