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Fuel oil shipments to Gaza resumed - EU

BRUSSELS, August 22 (RIA Novosti) - Fuel oil shipments to the Gaza Strip, hit by electricity blackouts since Sunday as the result of disagreements between European donors and local authorities, have been resumed and power restored, a European Commission (EC) spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Antonia Mochan said the first fuel shipments were made Wednesday morning, adding that the EC decided Tuesday to resume payments for fuel deliveries to Gaza's sole power plant.

The EC decided last Thursday to freeze fuel payments over concerns that the Islamist movement Hamas, which recently seized power in Gaze, would impose an energy tax and use the receipts to finance the activities of its government, which has been boycotted by the international community.

The ensuing interruption of fuel supplies left large sections of the Palestinian enclave, which has a population of about 1.5 million, without power for several days.

The EC pays 6.5 million euros a month for fuel deliveries to Gaza, which are made by an Israeli company, Dor Alon.

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