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Israel resumes fuel supplies to Gaza power plant

TEL AVIV, April 16 (RIA Novosti) - Israel has partially resumed fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip after a week-long cutoff, Israeli and Palestinian officials said Wednesday.

Tel Aviv cut off shipments to the Palestinian enclave, controlled by the radical Islamic group Hamas, last Wednesday after Palestinian gunmen killed two Israelis during an attack on the Nahal Oz fuel depot on Israel's border with Gaza.

In a separate attack media reported that at least nine Palestinians, including three children, had been killed in an Israeli airstrike near the Bureij refugee camp in Gaza.

A deputy director of the Gaza fuel station owners' association, Mahmoud Khuzandar, said a total of 180,000 liters of diesel fuel and 90 tons of gas had been delivered to Gaza.

Fuel will be supplied for Gaza's only power plant, which generates over 30% of the enclave's electricity demand, but no gasoline or diesel fuel for vehicles will be delivered, Israel's Defense Ministry said.

Israel has been reducing fuel shipments to Gaza as a means of pressurizing Hamas to halt rocket attacks.

Hamas said some 80% of vehicles in the area have been disabled over the fuel shortage and the power plant was close to running out of fuel. Israel insists Gaza is exaggerating the situation and said it would not allow the region to slide into a humanitarian crisis.

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