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Shortage of fuel in Gaza Strip puts lives at risk - UNRWA

Shortage of fuel in Gaza Strip puts lives at risk - UNRWA
16 Nov 2023 08:50

ABDULLAH ABU DAIF (Rafah)

There continues to be a shortage of fuel in the Gaza Strip, said the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). It confirmed that it received about 23,000 litres of fuel on Wednesday, which is only 9% of its daily needs to continue life-saving activities in the area. 

Thomas White, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Gaza, in a post on X, said: “Just received 23,027 litres of fuel from Egypt (half a tanker) - but its use has been restricted by Israeli authorities - only for transporting aid from Rafah. No fuel for water or hospitals.”

The UN official added that the depletion of fuel led to the shutdown of all three sewage pumps in Rafah and the Khan Yunis desalination plant, which provides water to hundreds of thousands of people. 

He pointed out that all the wells in Rafah, the only water source in the city, have stopped pumping water due to the fuel shortage. White added that Al-Amal Hospital, affiliated with the Palestinian Red Crescent, has stopped all its services except for emergencies, with no fuel for ambulances.

The UNRWA official emphasised that humanitarian aid should be distributed based on need, not conditions imposed by parties to the conflict. He warned that all of the agency’s operations are now on the brink of collapse. 

  • Shortage of fuel in Gaza Strip puts lives at risk - UNRWA
    UNRWA received about 23,000 litres of fuel on Wednesday

 


United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) confirmed that it received about 23,000 litres of fuel on Wednesday, which is only 9% of its daily needs to continue life-saving activities in the sector. 

Thomas White, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Gaza, in a post on X said: “Just received 23,027 litres of fuel from Egypt (half a tanker) – but its use has been restricted by Israeli authorities - only for transporting aid from Rafah. No fuel for water or hospitals.”

The UN official added that the depletion of fuel led to the shutdown of all three sewage pumps in Rafah and the Khan Yunis desalination plant that provides water to hundreds of thousands of people. 
He pointed out that all the wells in Rafah, the only water source in the city, have stopped pumping water due to the fuel shortage. White added that Al-Amal Hospital, affiliated with the Palestinian Red Crescent, has stopped all its services except for emergencies, with no fuel for ambulances.

The UNRWA official emphasised that humanitarian aid should be distributed based on needs, not conditions imposed by parties to the conflict. He warned that all of the agency’s operations are now on the brink of collapse.

He drew attention to the fact that approximately 70% of Gaza’s residents will be unable to access clean water and that having only fuel for trucks is not enough to save people’s lives. Waiting any longer will lead to loss of lives, he stressed.

UNRWA spokesperson Kazem Abu Khalaf said in a statement to Aletihad that Israel conditioned UNRWA to use the fuel only for vehicles transporting relief, injured, and dual-nationals to the Rafah Crossing, and that it should not be used for operating hospitals or desalination stations.

He indicated that the quantity of fuel entering the sector after approximately 40 days of military escalation is insufficient, covering only 9% of the daily requirements.
The UNRWA spokesperson did not confirm the possibility of the same quantity entering daily in the coming period, as negotiations are still ongoing between the concerned parties and UN organisations. 

He hoped that permission would be granted to allow the entry of more fuel, which would enable hospitals to operate at full capacity and accommodate the large number of injured in the Gaza Strip. 

Hospitals in the Gaza Strip are suffering from a clear crisis, with 22 hospitals stopping operations due to the acute fuel shortage, further exacerbating the health crisis.

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