UN Refugee Agency Halts Operations in Gaza Amid Fuel Crisis
Fuel Shortage Paralyzes Humanitarian Aid
In a critical development reported by Sputnik World, the United Nations Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East (UNRWA) has been compelled to cease its humanitarian missions in the besieged Gaza Strip. The reason behind this suspension, as stated by Thomas White, the organization’s director of affairs in Gaza, stems from a severe shortage of fuel.
“The humanitarian operation in Gaza will be stopped in the next 48 hours as fuel will not be allowed into Gaza,” White elucidated on his social media account.
Access to Drinking Water at Risk
The consequences of this development are dire, with White highlighting the immediate impact – the halting of two water distribution contractors earlier in the day due to depletion of their fuel reserves. This suspension threatens to deprive approximately 200,000 individuals of essential drinking water.
Further compounding the gravity of the situation, White conveyed the distressing reality that organizations now face distressing decisions like choosing whether to allocate the scarce fuel to hospitals or water purification systems — both indispensable for saving lives.
Intense Conflict and Humanitarian Crisis
The backdrop to this fuel crisis is the escalation of hostilities in the region. On October 7, the Palestinian faction Hamas launched a significant number of missiles from Gaza into southern Israel, and this aggressive maneuver received a swift response. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a state of war, and following this, the Israeli Defense Forces initiated a massive military operation, including intensive aerial bombardments across Gaza and a ground incursion aimed at neutralizing Hamas infrastructure and rescuing hostages.
From October 9, Israel has been enforcing a blockade, preventing the entry of basic supplies into Gaza and causing displaced Palestinians to move south toward the Rafah border crossing — the only avenue for sporadic international aid into the territory.
Staggering Toll of Casualties
The ongoing conflict has led to devastating loss of life and injuries. To date, 1,200 Israelis have perished, nearly 5,500 have been wounded, while the toll on the Gaza Strip is even more harrowing, with nearly 11,200 reported dead, including over 4,600 children, and more than 28,000 injured, according to the latest official figures.
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The suspension of UNRWA’s essential services due to the fuel shortage poses a humanitarian disaster in Gaza, leaving thousands without access to healthcare and drinking water. This crisis underscores the broader need for a sustainable resolution to the turmoil in the region.