(CTN News) – Due to nearly depleting fuel reserves, UN assistance agencies claim they have begun severely reducing activities in the Gaza Strip.
In the south, where hundreds of thousands of civilians are taking refuge from Israeli strikes, the water supply is being maintained with small quantities of gasoline salvaged from existing reserves.
However, by Thursday, we will have none left.
The organisations claim they no longer provide as much funding to the already overburdened shelters, bakeries, and hospitals.
According to UNRWA spokesperson Juliette Touma, “what we are seeing in the Gaza Strip is unprecedented.” Touma made these comments in an interview with the BBC.
The death toll has reached two million. Very little aid is reaching Gaza, and it is being suffocated.
On 7 October, in reaction for a cross-border incursion by Hamas in which at least 1,400 people were murdered and 224 taken captive, Israel began its bombing campaign in Gaza, cutting off electricity and most water, and stopping imports of food, gasoline, and other supplies.
Since then, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza, 7,000 people have been killed in the enclave and the health care system is on the verge of collapse, with a third of hospitals closed and the rest only treating emergencies.
Since Saturday, at least 74 trucks have poured into Gaza from Egypt through the Rafah border crossing carrying necessities like food, water, and medicine. This is just “a drop in the ocean of overwhelming needs,” as Ms. Touma put it. Before the war, about 500 trucks a day were allowed entry into Gaza.
While the United Kingdom, the United States, and other world powers do not consider Hamas to be a terrorist organisation, Israel does.
But Ms. Touma said Unrwa needed fuel immediately so it could keep helping the 629,000 refugees who have sought shelter there. After being warned by the Israeli military to evacuate, most people in the northern part of Gaza did so.
Although we are the world’s largest humanitarian group, we may soon be forced to shut down. The UN General Assembly has given us a mission, but we are being prevented from carrying it out. She continued, “All we’re asking for is the ability to do our work.”
UK transplant surgeon Dr. Abdelkader Hammad, who arrived in Gaza the day before the conflict began, is taking refuge at a UN compound in Rafah, in the south of the territory.
“The situation on the ground is deteriorating day by day,” he said to the BBC.
Since these resources are in short supply, people are getting violent over them. The stores must have sold out of whatever they had. Long lines of people have formed outside the few remaining bakeries in the area.
The hospitals where he typically operates were described as a “medical disaster” by his colleagues, and he voiced his concern over this.
Wounded folks fill the theatres. Because of the overwhelming amount of injured persons arriving, “they have to make very difficult decisions about who they treat,” he explained. They’ve almost exhausted their supply of lifesaving tools. The petrol tank is almost empty.
We don’t want hospitals or all of Gaza to run out of gasoline,” Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said in a video briefing on X (previously Twitter).
The military reports that Hamas has stockpiled hundreds of thousands of litres of fuel in a dozen tanks near the Egyptian border, but he suggested that Unrwa ask Hamas to hand up some of this fuel.
“There is enough for many days for hospitals and water pumps to run,” according to him. All that’s changed are the priorities. Hamas would rather keep all the fuel for its military capabilities than share it with the civilian population.
UN regional humanitarian chief Lynn Hastings was asked to comment on the accusation, and she told the BBC, “We don’t have any information about other fuel being available for Hamas to access.”
The Israelis have that worry, and they have good reason to. We are working on a solution with the Israelis to this problem so that we can bring in adequate fuel for humanitarian missions.
About 1,000 patients undergoing kidney dialysis therapy, 130 preterm babies in incubators, and intensive care patients on ventilators would be unable to receive care if the hospitals in Gaza did not have access to gasoline for their back-up generators, as warned by Ms. Hastings.
She also noted that Gaza’s desalinization and pumping infrastructure will be rendered inoperable.
“There is very, very little clean drinking water available now, which means people are resorting to drinking dirty or salinated water, or both.”
Because there is no power to pump sewage into the sea, it also means that the sanitation system is backed up. We anticipate sewage spillage onto the streets at any moment now.
In a second statement, Ms. Hastings voiced her frustration with the Israeli military for urging residents of Gaza City to leave even though they were trapped in their homes.
“When the evacuation routes are bombed, when people north as well as south are caught up in hostilities, when the essentials for survival are lacking, and when there are no assurances for return, people are left with nothing but impossible choices,” cautioned her.
The Israeli military released a statement accusing Hamas of blocking southern egress of civilians by employing them as human shields.
“As we have seen in the past, they use a variety of methods including roadblocks,” stated the report.