Friday, December 1, 2023

IDF: Hamas holds over half million litres of fuel in Gaza amid power crisis

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The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) released photographs on Tuesday, showcasing what it claims to be fuel tanks within the Gaza Strip. The IDF alleges that Hamas is storing significant quantities of fuel in the region, The Times of Israel reported.

The images were shared by the IDF’s Arabic-language account on X, featuring a location near the Rafah crossing in southern Gaza. In a statement, Avichay Adraee, the IDF’s Arabic spokesperson, emphasised, “This is what over half a million litres of diesel looks like,” while highlighting that “Hamas keeps claiming it does not have enough fuel to support hospitals and bakeries.”

Hamas had decried a power outage at the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza as a “crime against humanity.” They called upon Arab and Muslim nations, as well as the United Nations, to take action to address the crisis.

The hospital suffered a power failure on Monday night due to a shortage of fuel. While electricity was reportedly restored during the night, the hospital has only enough fuel to operate generators for an additional 48 hours. After this period, crucial medical equipment, including respirators and incubators, will cease to function.

Channel 12 news noted that if the IDF’s claims are true, the fuel reserves could sustain all hospitals in Gaza for several days, as reported by The Times of Israel.

Israel, which usually supplies fuel to Gaza, suspended all transfers following Hamas’ October 7 attack on the country. In this attack, Hamas launched a sudden ground, air, and sea offensive against Israel, with over 2,500 fighters crossing the border and causing destruction in southern towns. This resulted in the deaths of more than 1,400 people, primarily civilians, and the taking of over 220 hostages.

After the outbreak of the war, Israel imposed a complete blockade on the coastal enclave, barring the entry of fuel. The first two aid convoys since the conflict began were allowed into Gaza over the weekend, transporting a total of 34 trucks filled with food and medical supplies.

The United Nations has asserted that at least 100 trucks a day are needed to meet the basic needs of Gaza’s 2.4 million inhabitants, according to The Times of Israel.

The IDF’s statement mentions, “Hamas-ISIS steals this fuel from civilians and transfers it to its tunnels, rocket launchers, and leaders. This is what Hamas’s list of priorities looks like.”
The statement also conveyed, “Residents of Gaza, the address for your complaints is not Israel. It’s Yahya Sinwar, Muhammad Deif, and other Hamas-ISIS members who pushed Gaza into this abyss.”

On Saturday, an IDF official denied a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, saying, “As of now, I can tell you that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. There are difficulties in moving people within days to the south of the Gaza Strip, but the population is managing.”

Since the early days of the war, the military has been instructing Gazans to relocate to the southern part of the coastal enclave, even using aerial leaflet drops. The army’s plan is to intensify its attacks in the north. According to the Israel Defence Forces, approximately 7,00,000 people, out of an estimated 1.1 million in the northern Gaza population, have evacuated to the south. However, hundreds of thousands remain in the north, as Hamas encourages them to stay.

Meanwhile, Israel would allow the entry of food, water, and medical supplies from Egypt into southern Gaza for Palestinian civilians, as long as these supplies do not reach Hamas. However, fuel remains excluded from the list, The Times of Israel reported citing an Israeli defence source.
The death toll from Israel’s attacks stands at more than 5,700, according to unverified figures provided by the Hamas-run health ministry, The Times of Israel reported. 

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