UNRWA says fuel shortage will shut down aid operation in Gaza within 48 hours | Israel-Palestine conflict news
The refugee agency for Palestinians has said that aid work is at a breaking point as the Israeli siege cuts access to fuel.
The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees has said it must suspend aid operations in the Gaza Strip within 48 hours, as an Israeli siege puts pressure on access to much-needed fuel.
In a social media post on Monday, Thomas White, the head of Gaza for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), said that fuel has not been allowed into Gaza for more than a month, as humanitarian conditions reach critical levels.
“The humanitarian work in Gaza will come to a halt in the next 48 hours as fuel is not allowed to enter Gaza,” White wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
As Israel continues to pound Gaza with airstrikes amid a ground offensive on the territory, a siege cutting off access to food, electricity and fuel has overwhelmed groups trying to aid to those displaced and wounded by the fighting.
Palestinian authorities have said that Israeli strikes on Gaza have killed at least 11,240 people, including more than 4,600 children, since fighting began on October 7 when the Palestinian militant group Hamas attacked a southern Israel that killed around 1,200 people, according to Israel. authorities.
The UN said on Monday that 101 workers in Gaza have been killed since the fighting began.
In Gaza, where the health system is stretched to the limit, the collapse of medical and communications services has stopped casualty updates since November 10.
Palestinian doctors have claimed that hospitals are running out of fuel, leaving them unable to save patients, including newborn babies, as electricity generators ‘ stop working.
Israeli forces have sealed off al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, with medical staff and at least 650 patients trapped inside. The spokesman of the Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qudra said that 32 patients died in the last three days due to lack of power.
Israel says the hospital sits atop a complex of tunnels used by Hamas, a charge the group denies.
“The tanks are in front of the hospital. We are under complete restraint. It is a completely civilized area. Only hospital facilities, hospital patients, doctors and other civilians live in the hospital. Someone should stop this,” Dr. Ahmed El Mokhallati, a surgeon, told the Reuters news agency.
He said that Israel had bombed water tanks, water wells and water pumps for the hospital and that those who remained “barely survived”.
Officials have also warned that the conditions created by the bombing and siege could lead to disease, with access to clean water severely limited.
“This morning two of our main water distribution contractors stopped working – they ran out of fuel – which will deny drinking water to 200,000 people,” said White.
Mansour Shouman, a displaced Palestinian who fled northern Gaza and sought refuge at Nasser Hospital in southern Gaza, told Al Jazeera that the conditions at the site were “primitive”.
“We will leave the food and the water, the electricity, the fuel. There is no safety, there is no security,” he said. “We were told, ‘Go south, you will be safe there.’ But, every day I hear more ambulances coming to the hospital. I see more people taking their loved ones to the cemetery.”