Israel decides to stop supplying the Gaza Strip with fuel and declare a state of emergency in the natural gas industry

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ISRAEL (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Israel decided to stop supplying fuel to the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, starting Sunday evening, in the light of the recent escalation.

The Israeli government coordinator in the Palestinian territories, Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rukn, said in a statement: “We declare this evening on Sunday to stop the introduction of fuel into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing.”

The Israeli Energy Ministry issued a statement saying that the minister of energy suspended on Sunday the extraction and supply of natural gas from Tamar field off the Mediterranean coast into the country.

Israel’s outgoing energy minister, Yuval Steinitz, said in a statement that he had declared a state of emergency in the natural gas industry, “to ensure regular energy savings for the entire economy,” the Anatolia news agency reported.

The statement did not mention the reasons for the suspension of supplies and the declaration of a state of emergency, but it coincided with Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip, which prompted the factions to respond by firing rockets at settlements in the Gaza Strip.

The Tamar field, which was discovered in 2009, 90 km off the northern coast of Israel, has an estimated 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

The decision comes a few hours after the Israeli cabinet decided to expand Israeli operations against the Gaza Strip.

A statement issued by the “Capnet” on Sunday evening that “the cabinet instructed the IDF to continue strikes and prepare for the next stages.”

The Gaza Strip has been witnessing a sharp military escalation between the Palestinian factions and Israel since Saturday morning, as the Israeli army launched more than 100 air strikes and artillery attacks on various targets in the Gaza Strip, while the factions in Gaza fired bursts of rockets towards southern Israel.

Israeli raids resulted in the deaths of 21 Palestinians, including two women, both pregnant and one child, and more than 100 injured. Four Israelis were killed and dozens were wounded by Palestinian rocket fire.

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