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GAZA: Unrest in Egypt creating gas shortage in neighboring Arab enclave

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Unrest in Egypt is interrupting the smuggling of gasoline to the Gaza Strip, spurring a wave of panic buying by drivers fearful that the supply could dry up completely, news agencies reported Saturday.

Officials of the Hamas government in the coastal enclave bordering Egypt tried to dispel fears of a lasting gas shortage, but the assurances did little to halt an onslaught on gas stations.

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Palestinians inhabiting the Gaza Strip get most of their fuel from an underground network of pipes and tunnels linking the territory with fuel depots in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

Anti-government protests demanding an end to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s 30 years in power have all but shut down smuggling activity over the last few days.

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-- Carol J. Williams


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