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Ambulances in Gaza will stop running within hours due to fuel cuts

April 19, 2008 1:52 P.M. (Updated: April 19, 2008 1:52 P.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - Ambulances in the war-ravaged Gaza Strip will stop running completely at 6pm local time on Saturday due to a lack of fuel, a senior official in the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Muawiya Hassanain, the head of the General Administration of emergency and ambulance services in the Health Ministry, told Ma'an that after calling the owners of local petrol stations, he has determined that there is simply no fuel to keep the ambulance fleet running.

Israel shut down the Nahal Oz fuel terminal, Gaza's main crossing point for liquid fuels, after Palestinian fighters attacked the crossing over a week ago. On Wednesday Israel allowed one small shipment of industrial fuel into the Strip, but no petrol for automobiles. The closing of Nahal Oz follows nearly ten months of a crippling blockade.

Hassanain noted that the fuel shortage is reaching this point during "Israeli bombing and shelling as well as the continuous incursions in every hour in all the Strip's provinces."

He added that dozens of the wounded are waiting to leave the Gaza Strip for treatment elsewhere. He called for the Rafah crossing with Egypt to be opened.

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