Gaza Needs Fuel as Urgent as Water & Food: UN Official


GAZA – A top UN official said on Monday that fuel requirement for the besieged Gaza Strip is as “urgent as water and food”, adding that the two aid convoys that entered the Hamas-controlled enclave over the weekend have barely alleviated the dire conditions.

Speaking to CNN, UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) Communications Director Tamara Alrifai said: “Without fuel, it is not going to be possible to go around Gaza… Or to power the water desalination plant to get clean drinking water or to power hospitals and the lifesaving machines.”

Alrifai said humanitarian aid that entered Gaza was “a fraction” of what is needed for over 400,000 displaced people currently taking shelters in schools run by UNRWA, adding the situation is “very, very dire”.

She told CNN that people in Gaza were being forced to ration food, “even counting the minimum required calories per person per day per survival”.

“We are really counting on a continuous and unimpeded access of the trucks from Rafah into Gaza.”

Israel had previously said that fuel won’t be allowed into Gaza.

As the weekend witnessed intensified Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, doctors described “catastrophic” conditions at one central hospital as electricity and fuel supplies run out and crippled medical facilities rapidly become overwhelmed with casualties, reports CNN.

Iyad Issa Abu Zaher, director general of Al Aqsa Martyrs hospital, described a “bloody day” for his staff to CNN on Sunday, saying the hospital had received up to 166 bodies and more than 300 injured people.

“It’s impossible for any hospital in the world to admit this number of injured,” he said.

Aid has been piling up on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing that connects to Gaza.

The vital passage was briefly opened over the weekend, delivering the first convoy of 20 aid trucks into besieged Gaza on October 21, and another 14 trucks passed through it the following day. -IANS


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