Herb Keinon
The Jerusalem Post
April 28, 2008 - 6:13pm

Jerusalem expressed mild satisfaction Sunday night that a statement issued by the EU on the fuel shortage in Gaza placed at least part of the blame on Hamas's shoulders.

After expressing "grave concern" at reports that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) had suspended its humanitarian work in the Gaza Strip because of a fuel shortage, and after calling for "regular and unrestricted delivery of fuel supplies" through the "controlled reopening of the crossings" into the area, the EU then singled out Hamas.

"Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza have their share in aggravating the humanitarian situation, including through carrying out the attacks on the Nahal Oz and Kerem Shalom crossings," the statement read. "The [EU] president condemns such actions, which only lead to further suffering of the population."

Senior Foreign Ministry officials said that this was one of only a few times that an EU statement had actually condemned Hamas by name. The official said that while the statement was not revolutionary in nature, it did indicate that the EU had taken the recent Hamas attacks at the Nahal Oz and Kerem Shalom crossings into account when looking at the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli officials have said that Hamas intentionally targeted the crossings to stop the flow of fuel and supplies into Gaza in order to manufacture a crisis for which Israel would then be blamed.


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