Israel has provoked the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) by suggesting that they should seek assistance from militant organizations for supplies. In response to UNRWA’s appeal for humanitarian aid, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) declared on Tuesday that UNRWA should ask Hamas for fuel. Accompanied by a satellite photo showing fuel tanks in Gaza, the IDF’s statement on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) stated, “These fuel tanks are inside Gaza. They contain more than 500,000 liters of fuel. Ask Hamas if you can have some.”
This direct reply from Israel to UNRWA was made after UNRWA announced that if they did not receive fuel urgently, they would be forced to halt their operations in the Gaza Strip starting from Wednesday. It is important to note that Israel had imposed a total blockade on Gaza following an incursion by Hamas on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,400 Israelis and the abduction of around 200 individuals. The IDF has also launched airstrikes against Gaza, with the aim of dismantling Hamas.
When questioned about the progress of humanitarian aid to Gaza, US President Joe Biden expressed his dissatisfaction, stating that it was “not fast enough.” An aid convoy consisting of 20 trucks, intended to deliver aid to Gaza from Egypt, is expected to arrive by Wednesday. However, Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah, a surgeon volunteering at Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City, dismissed the aid convoy as a “gimmick.” He claimed that the hospital had received 600 dead Palestinians and three times as many wounded Palestinians in the past 24 hours. With supplies running low, approximately 1,800 civilians have sought shelter inside the hospital to escape Israeli airstrikes. Abu Sittah described the dire situation, stating, “They’re everywhere. They’re in the corridor and floors, they’re in the wards on the floor. Mattresses everywhere.”
According to the Gaza Health Ministry, as of Tuesday evening, a total of 5,791 Palestinians have been killed and another 16,300 wounded since October 7. The situation in Gaza remains critical, and UNRWA’s plea for fuel highlights the pressing need for humanitarian assistance in the region.
The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas continues to escalate, with devastating consequences for the people of Gaza. The suggestion by the IDF that UNRWA should turn to militant organizations for supplies is an indication of the strain on humanitarian agencies and the desperate situation faced by the Palestinian population in Gaza. The international community must work together to address the humanitarian crisis and find a lasting solution to the conflict. Swift and effective action is needed to prevent further loss of life and suffering in Gaza.