Rice tells Israel to avoid Gaza crisis
Berlin, January 22, 2008
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Tuesday she had spoken to the Israelis and urged them to avert a humanitarian crisis in Gaza where Israel implemented a blockade on fuel and electricity.
'Nobody wants innocent Gazans to suffer and so we have spoken to the Israelis about the importance of not allowing a humanitarian crisis to unfold there,' Rice told reporters travelling with her to Berlin for a meeting on Iran.
Rice said ultimately Hamas was to blame for the situation in Gaza. She said the Israelis were dealing with an 'intolerable' situation, with the firing of rockets into the Jewish homeland, and the anxiety and terror that came with that.
She said there needed to be creative solutions to the problem and referred to the quartet's suggestion of allowing the Palestinian Authority to play a greater role at the crossings.
Israel eased its blockade on Tuesday, resuming fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip's main power plant.
The shipment included at least three days' worth of European Union-funded fuel for the generating plant which shut down on Sunday after Israel sealed border crossings in what it termed a response to Palestinian cross-border rocket attacks.
Egypt had also urged Israel to lift the blockade and warned of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the coastal strip.-Reuters