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Israeli Blockade Puts Gazans in Dark

Israel has decided not to resume fuel shipments to the Gaza Strip, as Palestinian leaders warn of widespread blackouts.

Israeli defense officials said the ban on fuel shipments, which are used for Gaza's only electrical power plant, would continue Monday. A spokeswoman for the European Commission, which funds the Gaza fuel deliveries, said Israel may allow a resumption of shipments Tuesday.

Sporadic blackouts were reported in Gaza Sunday and authorities there say they may have to shut down the plant, which supplies a third of the region's electricity, by Monday evening.

Israel stopped shipments last week in response to a series of rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel. Gazans have been able to smuggle some fuel for generators through illegal tunnels to Egypt.

Israel's deputy defense minister today dismissed the blackout warnings as Hamas "propaganda."

Israel tightened its borders with Gaza after Hamas militants seized power from their rivals, Fatah, last year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.