Palestinians say Israel has severely curtailed gas supplies to the occupied Gaza Strip this winter, fueling a major disruption to ordinary life for most families and exacerbating the harsh impact of the cold weather. Tholfikar Sweirjo, a member of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s committee in Gaza, told Al Jazeera the amount of gas entering Gaza has been decreased by at least 50 percent since early December.
“People are suffering from the shortage … especially because a lot of cars had been converted to use gas instead of petrol due to the high prices of petrol,” he said. Sweirjo accused Israeli authorities of causing this gas shortage to intensify pressure on Gaza in a bid to push people against Hamas, the group that governs the strip.
His statement came a week after the International Middle East Media Center quoted Mohamed al-Abadaleh, a spokesman of an association of fuel and gas station owners in Gaza, as saying: “It is week four since the Israeli authorities severely decreased cooking gas supplies for the Gaza Strip.”
He also said the amount of gas allowed into the Palestinian territory is only 15 percent of what is needed normally. The Israeli Ministry of Energy has not responded to Al Jazeera’s requests for comment.