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Gaza Gas Shortages Looming over $1 Tax Dispute

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A dispute between the Hamas Ministry of Finance in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority’s General Directorate of Petroleum has led to a gas shortage in the strip, Ma’an reported Tuesday.The petroleum directorate is accused of refusing to supply fuel to gas stations, to protest a four-shekel (roughly $1.00) tax imposed by the finance ministry on every 26 pound gas container, according to Mahmoud al-Shawwa, head of the union of gas station owners.

“Palestinians suffer enough from the Israeli blockade and the summer offensive on Gaza and they should not also suffer the results of such disagreements, ” al-Shawwa added.

Gaza must receive 450-500 tons of gas daily to meet its needs, according to Ma’an. Israel, that horrible enemy who should be driven into the sea, for now provides some 200 tons each day, depending on how many rockets are shot at the fuel trucks.

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Because of the dispute, Gaza has not received its gas shipments for two days running.

Energy committee member Abu Muhammad al-Masharawi called on the national consensus government to solve the crisis before it inflicts more suffering on farms and homes.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine called for the additional tax to be canceled, saying it is “irrational” to make Gazans pay illegal taxes.

“It is a shame to raise signs and slogans in solidarity with Gazans but apply the complete opposite, ” the group said in a statement.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine has a lot to say about almost everything.

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