Israel on Sunday opened a border crossing with Gaza to allow the transfer of gas, after the coastal salient’s only power plant shut down for one day due to lack of fuel.
Israel closed its border crossings with the Gaza Strip last week after the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad on Wednesday launched a massive barrage of rockets from the Strip into Israel.
The radical faction said it was avenging the killing of three of its fighters in an Israeli airstrike. Israel had targeted the three after they launched a mortar bomb at its troops along the border. Israel retaliated against the barrage with intense airstrikes.
After hours of the area’s worst violence since a November 2012 offensive, the sides reinstated a fragile - informal – Egyptian-brokered truce.
Israel agreed to allow the entry on Sunday of 500,000 litres of diesel and gasoline for the private sector, 160,000 tons of cooking gas, and 200,000 litres of diesel for the power plant, said Israeli General Yoav Mordechai, charged with coordinating Israeli government and army activities related to the Palestinian territories.
Gazans have been living on electricity rations and generators for years. The shut-down of the power plant on Saturday meant power outages were up from about 12 to 16 hours a day.
Since Egypt shut down nearly all smuggling tunnels under its border with Gaza, the enclave is all but entirely dependent on deliveries from Israel, financed by the Palestinian Authority.
The delivery comes a day before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is due to meet US President Barack Obama in the White House. Mr. Obama met Netanyahu earlier this month, to personally press both leaders to take the decisions needed to reach a framework agreement by April 30, the deadline of nine months of difficult peace negotiations pushed by his secretary of state, John Kerry.