Two trucks brought fuel across Israel’s border into the Gaza Strip on Tuesday in a Qatari- and U.N.-backed effort to ease conditions in the enclave and stem any escalation in Palestinian-Israeli violence.

The shipment was a potential slap to the Western-backed administration of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, which opposed the foreign relief plan. Gaza is controlled by Abbas’s rival, the Islamist Hamas group, and the Palestinian president has been using economic pressure in order to wrest back control.Under a blockade by Israel and Egypt designed to isolate Hamas, Gaza has plunged into poverty. Over the last half year it has seen weekly, often violent Palestinian border protests and lethal counter-fire by the Israeli military.Qatar’s donation is intended to provide fuel to Gaza’s power plant for six months.Each of the two trucks entering Gaza carried some 35,000 litres of fuel and seven more trucks are expected on WednesdayThe cash-starved plant has been providing Gazans with only around four hours of electricity daily.