No new fuel has entered Gaza since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war in early October, US Special Envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Issues David Satterfield said Saturday.
“Fuel, which existed in depots accessible to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East), that existed in Gaza prior to October 7, has been accessed by UNRWA for purposes of trucks, delivery of assistance that is from Rafah terminal to distribution points, for desalinization plant operation, and for delivery to hospitals in the South. That has been going on for pretty much the last week,” Satterfield said.
The US expects that additional fuel will be brought in once that fuel runs out, and there is an agreed mechanism in place for that, the envoy said. This fuel would only be going to south Gaza, he noted.
Israel has accused Hamas of hoarding and diverting fuel, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that “Israel has raised appropriate concerns, concerns that we share, about Hamas’s hoarding and syphoning of fuel in northern Gaza.”
“Again, its cynicism knows no bounds, denying fuel itself that it has to hospitals and other places that desperately need it. In meetings with regional partners, I’ll continue conversations about getting assistance to flow, including with help from the United Nations,” Blinken said Friday during a visit to Israel.
US officials are not aware Hamas diverting any humanitarian assistance that has entered Gaza in the past weeks since trucks began entering via the Rafah crossing, Satterfield said Saturday.
Aid workers in the field have not reported “interdiction of or seizure of goods by Hamas,” he said.
CNN cannot independently verify the amount of fuel in the enclave.
Deteriorating conditions in hospitals: Gaza's hospitals and staff are overwhelmed as the facilities are housing both patients and the countless displaced who have nowhere else to go.
Gaza’s leading cancer hospital, the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship hospital, has stopped operating due to Israeli bombardment and fuel shortages, the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health said in a statement Wednesday.
A doctor at Gaza City’s Al-Shifa hospital Friday said that low fuel stocks have plunged wards into darkness and cut off major, basic functions like oxygen generation.