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Qatari fuel for Gaza still stuck in Sinai amid unrest

Nov. 7, 2012 4:37 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 8, 2012 1:06 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Fuel donated by Qatar for the Gaza Strip is still stuck in Egypt due to the unrest in Sinai, a Gaza official said Wednesday.

Mohammad Abadleh, an official with a gas company coalition in Gaza, said the blockage was due to the security situation in the restive peninsula, not any procurement problems.

On Sunday, Egyptian security officials told Ma'an that deliveries had stopped after Bedouin blocked roads.

Seven trucks of fuel were set to leave Egypt via Israel's al-Auja crossing, escorted by security officers from Suez, but the delivery had to be abandoned.

Three Egyptian policemen died Saturday when gunmen fired on their car in el-Arish, before escaping.

Police officers across Sinai later left their posts to block the el-Arish security directorate in protest against the killings, a Ma'an reporter said.

Egypt's defense minister Abdul al-Fatah al-Sisi and interior minister Ahmad Jamal al-Din later flew into El-Arish to address the police protesters, and replaced the North Sinai security director with his deputy, in an effort to allay the crisis.

On Tuesday, gunmen shot and injured a security officer in north Sinai.

The Qatari fuel is part of 27 million liters donated by the Gulf state to ease Gaza's energy crisis. It was delivered to Egypt and is being transferred to Gaza with Israeli cooperation through the Sinai border region.
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