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First fuel truck enters Gaza from Egypt — Egypt media

By AFP - Nov 16,2023 - Last updated at Nov 16,2023

An Egyptian Red Crescent truck carrying aid crosses into Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday (AFP photo)

CAIRO — A fuel truck entered Gaza through the Rafah border crossing from Egypt on Wednesday, state-aligned Al Qahera News reported, in the first such delivery since the Hamas-Israel war began on October 7.

An Egyptian source said the fuel would be delivered to the United Nations "to facilitate the delivery of aid after trucks on the Palestinian side stopped operating for lack of fuel".

Witnesses at the Egyptian border said two more trucks were waiting to pass through the crossing.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said it was unable to confirm the reported delivery.

"No fuel has come to Gaza since October 7," the agency's director of communications Juliette Touma told AFP, adding that "if there is any change, UNRWA will provide an update".

COGAT, the Israeli defence ministry body that handles Palestinian civil affairs, had said earlier that "UN trucks transporting humanitarian aid through the Rafah crossing will be refuelled at the Rafah crossing, per US request".

The UN had warned on Monday that its operations would "grind to a halt in the next 48 hours" unless it could refuel trucks that have been transporting aid to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians displaced by Israel's unrelenting bombardment.

"It is unbelievable that humanitarian agencies have to beg for fuel and operate on life support," UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said in a statement Tuesday.

“Since the beginning of the war, fuel has been used as a weapon of war and this should stop immediately.”

Israel’s attacks by air and land have killed 11,320 people, mostly civilians, including thousands of children, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

Aid agencies have repeatedly underlined the desperate need for fuel, used to power hospital generators and purify drinking water.

The health ministry has said that fuel shortages have forced the shutdown of all hospitals in northern Gaza.

At the Al Shifa hospital, which Israeli forces raided on Wednesday, dozens of intensive care patients have died since the hospital ran out of fuel, according to health officials.

 

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