Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ambulances, bakeries hit by Gaza fuel crisis

 GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Half of Gaza's ambulances and fire trucks are out of service due to the fuel crisis, officials said Wednesday.

Emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said no ambulances will be operating if the crisis is not resolved quickly.

At a news conference in Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Abu Salmiya warned of a "disastrous situation" in the event of an emergency or an Israeli attack.

He urged the international community and human rights organizations to intervene immediately.

Israel is responsible for the humanitarian situation in Gaza because it has blockaded the enclave for five years, he added.

Israel has countered that it is willing to resume deliveries of fuel upon request.

The government in Gaza has been purchasing fuel from Egypt for over a year, but a recent dispute over prices and the supply route has cut off the regular supply for several weeks.

Bakeries at risk

Meanwhile, the bakers' union announced Wednesday that bakeries will halve their working hours from Thursday due to the fuel shortages.

Union chief Abdul Nasser al-Ajrami told Ma'an that the bakeries were at risk of shutting down completely and urged the government to provide bakers with diesel.
Maan News Agency