Israel Palestine Conflict

UN trucks to bring fuel into Gaza Wednesday: Israeli military spokesman

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UN trucks planned to bring fuel into the Gaza Strip on Wednesday for the first time since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by the Palestinian enclave’s Hamas rulers, an Israeli military spokesman said on Wednesday.

“I know today that there’s going to be fuel entering to the UN facilities inside the Gaza Strip,” Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said in an interview with CNN.

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The first truck carrying fuel into Gaza since the start of Israel’s war with Hamas crossed from Egypt on Wednesday to deliver diesel to the United Nations, though it will do little to alleviate shortages that have hampered relief efforts.

The delivery was made possible by Israel giving its approval for 24,000 liters (6,340 gallons) of diesel fuel to be allowed into Gaza for UN aid distribution trucks, though not for use at hospitals, according to a humanitarian source.

“This is only 9 percent of what we need daily to sustain lifesaving activities,” Tom White, director of UN relief agency UNRWA in Gaza, posted on social media platform X. He confirmed that just over 23,000 liters, or half a tanker, had been received.

“Our entire operation is now on the verge of collapse,” said UNRWA director Philippe Lazzarini. “It is appalling that fuel continues to be used as a weapon of war.”

Aid workers say a lack of fuel, which is needed for hospital generators, provision of water, sewage treatment and communications as well as for the distribution of relief, has contributed to a sharp deterioration of conditions for Gaza’s 2.3 million residents.

Limited deliveries of humanitarian aid have been crossing from Egypt into Gaza since Oct. 21, but Israel had refused to allow in fuel, saying it could be used by Hamas.

The United Nations had warned in recent days that it would soon have to halt humanitarian operations as its fuel stocks became fully depleted.

It said fuel shortages had already caused or contributed to the closure of hospitals, bakeries, sewage pumping stations, water desalination plants and water wells, and were threatening to shut down telecoms data centers and connection points within 48 hours.

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