GAZA: Israel has agreed to allow two fuel trucks a day into Gaza, Israeli officials said Friday, after the UN warned shortages had halted aid deliveries and put people at risk of starvation.
The situation was dire at the Al-Shifa hospital, the largest in Gaza. Israel’s army claimed that it was still searching the sprawling complex for suspected hideouts of fighters.
Hamas rejects an Israeli charge that it has a command centre at the hospital, where thousands of people, including wounded patients and premature babies, are believed to be inside. The hospital also denies the claim.
In response to a US request, Israel’s war cabinet unanimously decided to allow “the entry of two diesel fuel tankers per day for the needs of the UN to support water and sewer infrastructure… provided that it does not reach Hamas”, Israeli officials said.
The announcement came hours after the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said its aid trucks were unable to enter Gaza from Egypt for a second consecutive day due to the lack of fuel and a near-total communications blackout.
In a statement, the agency said it would be unable to “manage or coordinate humanitarian convoys” from Friday because of the telecommunications outage.
“The situation in Al-Shifa is catastrophic” for patients, displaced people and health workers who are crammed inside without electricity, water and food, the hospital’s director, Mohammed Abu Salmiya, told the Media on the phone later during a brief restoration of communications.