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80% of Gaza gas stations empty after Israel closes crossing

June 14, 2014 4:14 A.M. (Updated: June 15, 2014 3:26 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Eighty percent of gas stations in Gaza are out of fuel and the other 20 percent are sufficient for only half a day, the director of the local Gas Station Owners Union told Ma'an on Saturday.

Mahmoud Shawwa said all gas stations would shut down Saturday afternoon, and that all stations were out of diesel fuel.

Israel closed the Kerem Shalom crossing, the only connection for fuel to enter the besieged coastal enclave, after three Israeli settlers went missing in the Hebron area late Thursday.

Shawwa highlighted that the continued closure of Kerem Shalom would paralyze life in the Gaza Strip.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2007.

The blockade was imposed following the victory of Hamas in the 2006 Palestinian elections and the subsequent 2007 clashes between Fatah and Hamas, which left Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of the West Bank.

The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gazans.
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