Shipment of Emergency Vehicles Allowed into Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -
Rescue vehicles, part of a convoy of around 20, arrives in Gaza City, Dec. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Israel allowed the import of around 20 rescue and firefighting vehicles into the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, Palestinian officials said.

The equipment, which was donated by Qatar, includes several SUVs fitted with water pumps. Gaza’s Civil Defense previously had just 33 vehicles to serve the territory’s 2 million people, including a single fire truck with a hydraulic platform.

Israel and Egypt have blockaded Gaza since the Islamic terror group Hamas seized power from rival Palestinian forces in 2007 due to prevent infiltration into their territories of terrorists and weapons.

Raed al-Dahshan, a spokesman for Gaza’s Civil Defense, said Tuesday’s shipment was “unprecedented.”

The Civil Defense said no firefighting equipment has been allowed into Gaza since 2007, and the last shipment of fire trucks was brought in by the Western-backed Palestinian Authority in 1998.