Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Jonathan Conricus has said Hamas prefers to have fuel for its warfighting capabilities, leaving civilians without it. On the WHO report published on October 16 claiming that Gaza has only 24 hours of fuel, electricity, and water left, the IDF spokesperson said: “The date that this was published was October 16. That was a few days ago. We’re on the 26th now. So that’s ten days ago this was published. And as far as I know, there’s still electricity in the Gaza Strip, and this report is a bit questionable. Sure, the situation in Gaza isn’t great and there are difficulties and there are people wounded and killed, which is regrettable, but this wasn’t true at the time and it isn’t true now.”
He then went on to address claims by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) that its operations in Gaza may be forced to a halt if no fuel is delivered to Gaza. Conricus termed UNRWA’s claims as inaccurate.
“I don’t think that is accurate, and neither does the entire IDF. We responded to UNRWA’s claim by referring them to where Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, stores fuel, both diesel fuel and other types and benzene. It’s all inside the Gaza Strip, and there’s enough for many days for hospitals and water pumps to run. Only the priorities are different. Hamas prefers to have all the fuel for its warfighting capabilities, leaving civilians without it,” Conricus said.
“And then international organizations ask for help. But who are they asking from? Are they asking Hamas, who has access to the fuel and governs the Gaza Strip? Or are they blaming Israel or asking Egypt? I think that it’s very important that they point their questions and their request to the ones who can actually help them and actually govern the Gaza Strip. And that is Hamas, not Israel and not Egypt. So we need to be very clear about that,” he added.
The IDF spokesperson then went on to address reports about Israel killing 6,500 Palestinians in Gaza.
He said Israel is not trying to achieve any civilian casualties as its fight is against the Hamas.
“I want to be clear from the beginning, there is not a single drop of cynicism about Palestinian civilian casualties. We do not want and we are not trying to achieve any casualties. Our fight is against the evil terrorist organization Hamas. It is them that we are targeting, not the civilian population. But unfortunately, because Hamas hides behind them, unfortunately, civilians get caught in the middle,” he said.
He further said: “We cannot lend credibility to an institution that continuously lies and continuously inflates the number of civilian casualties and misrepresents or hides the number of combatants, Hamas operatives, terrorists that are fighting against us. So this is important for future coverage.”
Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his goal against the Hamas war is “saving the nation” and promised that a ground incursion to destroy Hamas in Gaza will start soon, The Times of Israel reported.
He says Israel is getting ready for a ground operation, but will not share when or how. He says he will not share the range of considerations involved.
“We are preparing for a ground incursion. I won’t specify when, how, how many. I also won’t detail the range of considerations, most of which the public is not aware of. And that’s the way it is supposed to be. This is the way so that we protect our soldiers’ lives.”
In an address to the nation, PM Netanyahu said, “Israel is in the midst of a fight for our existence. The war’s two aims are “to eliminate Hamas by destroying its military and governance capabilities, and to do everything possible to get our hostages back.”
According to The Times of Israel, the PM added, “All Hamas members are dead men walking — above and below ground, inside and outside Gaza. Together with Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, Minister Benny Gantz, the security cabinet, the chief of staff, and heads of the security organizations, we are working around the clock in order to achieve the war aims until victory, and doing so without political considerations.”
The goal is “saving the nation, achieving victory. Thousands of terrorists have been killed,” he said, “and that is only the beginning.”