Oil rises over escalation of Gaza onslaught

Global crude oil prices have risen as the Israeli regime intensifies its deadly attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip.

In London trade, Brent North Sea crude increased $2.75 on Monday, closing at $111.70 a barrel for delivery in January, AFP reported.

“The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, which has stoked fears about supply of oil across the Middle East region, continues to provide the main source of support to prices,” GFT Markets analyst Fawad Razaqzada said.

New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in January, settled at $89.28 a barrel.

The global market was also boosted from prospects that the US will avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts due in January.

“Also lifting crude oil today was news that Republican and Democratic lawmakers are showing more willingness to find a compromise on the US fiscal cliff, even though major challenges remain,” Razaqzada added.

According to analysts, the WTI contract found support “from strength in the equities market, Middle East conflict, and a weaker dollar index.”

Israeli airstrikes, shelling, and artillery fire have left at least 109 Palestinians dead and over 750 others injured since November 14. Some of the injured are in critical condition.

Israel has conducted more than 1,350 aerial and sea attacks against the Gaza Strip since November 14.

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