The attack was aimed at a terminal for the transfer of fuel and gas to the Gaza Strip which supplies millions of liters of gasoline and diesel for electricity and transportation.

 Behind the Headlines: Attack on the Nahal Oz fuel crossing into Gaza


Two Israeli employees of the Nahal Oz fuel terminal were killed when Palestinian terrorists fired mortars at the terminal on April 9, 2009 (Photo: Flash90)

Shortly after 3pm on April 9th, Palestinian terrorists fired a barrage of mortar bombs in the area of Kibbutz Nahal Oz while a squad of Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip penetrated into Israeli territory. The terrorists murdered two Israeli workers at the Nahal Oz fuel terminal, Oleg Lipson, 37 and Lev Cherniak, 53.

The attack was aimed at a terminal for the transfer of fuel and gas to the Gaza Strip. Indeed, the Nahal Oz terminal is the only source of fuel for the civilian Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip. It is run by the Israeli fuel supplier Dor Energy, and adjoins the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, just north of the Karni crossing.

The Nahal Oz terminal supplies millions of liters of gasoline and diesel for electricity and transportation, as well as gas for cooking. Every week, the terminal delivers about 2.2 million liters of industrial fuel for Gaza City’s electrical power plant, 75,400 liters of gasoline and 800,000 liters of diesel fuel. Immediately prior to the attack, the latest delivery of European Union-funded fuel for Gaza’s main power station had just been completed.

The attack against the Nahal Oz terminal constitutes an assault against the sole fuel-energy pipeline for the people of the Gaza Strip. This attack aptly illustrates the cynicism of Hamas and the other terrorist organizations, who with their own hands tried to sever the central fuel lifeline of the residents of Gaza.

On the one hand, Palestinian and other interested parties in the Strip complain of the difficult situation, while on the other, Palestinian terrorists attack the main source of civilian energy.

While this is one of the more tragic attacks on a Gazan terminal, this is not the first time a humanitarian crossing has been assailed. These crossings have been frequent targets of mortar bombs and other attacks. The April 9th terror incident was an intentional assault on one of the central sites of humanitarian cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel expects international organizations, which are quick to criticize Israel for problems in the delivery of humanitarian supplies, to roundly condemn this attack, placing the blame firmly on the terrorist organizations that attacked the crossings today, as well as in the past.

The Hamas terrorist organization bears direct responsibility for the continued policy of terrorism, which it is carrying out at the expense of the Palestinian population, causing immense suffering to the entire population, including women, children, the sick, and the elderly.

As Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni noted after the attack, "Hamas, which rules in Gaza, can prevent any terror activity emanating from Gaza. The question of which terror organization carried out the attack or was sent by Hamas is irrelevant. Responsibility for every terror attack lies with Hamas – and Hamas must bear the consequences."