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World

Despite fuel delivery, UN warns Gaza operations ‘on verge of collapse’

Published November 15, 2023
Trucks carrying aid cross into Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 15, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. Fuel that entered Gaza from Egypt through the Rafah border crossing on November 15, was “not at all enough”, the United Nations agency for supporting Palestinian refugees said. Photo: AFP
Trucks carrying aid cross into Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 15, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. Fuel that entered Gaza from Egypt through the Rafah border crossing on November 15, was “not at all enough”, the United Nations agency for supporting Palestinian refugees said. Photo: AFP

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Just hours after receiving its first wartime delivery of fuel from outside Gaza, the UN warned Wednesday its operations in the territory were facing collapse, with most people soon unable to access drinking water.

“Our entire operation is now on the verge of collapse,” said Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

“To have fuel for trucks only will not save lives anymore,” the UNRWA chief wrote on X, formerly Twitter, saying the fuel shortages had prompted critical shortages of drinking water.

Israel raids Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital, urges Hamas to surrender

“By the end of today, around 70 percent of the population in Gaza won’t have access to clean water,” he said of the 2.4 million people living in the tiny territory.

Earlier, Thomas White, the head of UNRWA’s Gaza operations, said that supplying fuel for trucks did nothing to address the fuel shortages that were crippling hospitals, sewage facilities and water supplies.

“In Rafah, all 10 water wells have stopped pumping, the only source of water in the city – why? No fuel,” he wrote on X, referring to the city on Gaza’s southern tip.

He also said the desalination plant in Khan Yunis, which “supplies drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people” had also ground to a halt due to fuel shortages, along with Rafah’s only sewage plant.

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