(FILE) The scene at Al Ahli hospital in Gaza 18 October 2023 following an explosion. EFE/EPA/MOHAMMED SABER ATTENTION: This Image is part of a PHOTO SET

Fuel truck arrives at Gaza border to load UNRWA trucks

Cairo, Nov 14 (EFE) – A fuel truck arrived Tuesday at the Rafah border crossing that connects the Gaza Strip to Egypt to load trucks belonging to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), but it will not enter the Palestinian enclave, humanitarian sources told EFE.

A Red Crescent source told EFE that a fuel truck entered the border crossing, although “it is very likely that it will not reach Gaza” because “UNRWA trucks are loaded from inside the crossing” that separates Egyptian and Palestinian territory.

The United Nations agency has not yet commented on the matter. However, UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini reiterated in a statement on Tuesday that “the tank is empty” and that “without fuel, the humanitarian operation in Gaza will come to an end.”

Lazzarini insisted that despite having rationed fuel supplies in recent weeks and accessing limited reserves inside the Strip in coordination with the Israeli authorities, they were nearly out.

“If we project out a couple of days, by the 14th of November this will severely impact ambulances and major hospital operations. Some of them (hospitals) have a bit of solar but it is marginal,” he also warned.

On Tuesday, no trucks with medical supplies, food or water entered, according to the same Red Crescent source, after 155 finally entered the Palestinian enclave Monday.

Palestinian Red Cross Director General Marwan Jilani said that “the top priority now is to allow the entry of fuel” to avoid a disruption in the humanitarian supply chain.

“We learnt today that UNRWA has stopped receiving humanitarian assistance because trucks do not have fuel to move this assistance,” he said in a video he shared on the organization’s X Profile.

In the same clip, Jilani said that “the proposition that a few thousand liters to get in for the trucks to move assistance is partial, is discriminatory and it will not save the lives of those patients, those people who are in hospitals.”

He added that “fuels must get in” to hospitals in order to treat people.

“If the world is only concerned to save face on getting some fuel by to get the trucks going, this is another failure of the international community, its another failure of morality of responsibility related to the humanitarian situation in Gaza,” he stressed.

Since the outbreak of the war on Oct. 7, no truck carrying fuel, essential for the operation of hospitals, bakeries and water purification plants, has entered the Gaza Strip due to the veto imposed by Israel for fear that it might reach the Islamic group Hamas.

The fuel shortage has forced many hospitals in the Palestinian enclave to suspend or reduce their medical services.

Since the beginning of the Israeli offensive against the Palestinian enclave on Oct. 7, more than 11,180 people have died, 28,200 have been injured and 3,000 are missing, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. EFE sin-sr-rsm/mcd/ics