US says Israel likely broke intl law; 10 killed central Gaza

Israel said Friday it had delivered 200,000 litres of fuel into the besieged Gaza Strip, after the United Nations said a lack of stocks was crippling aid operations.

The Israeli defence ministry body that oversees Palestinian civil affairs, COGAT, announced “the transfer of 200,000 litres [52,834 gallons] of fuel to international organisations in the Gaza Strip”.

It said the fuel had been delivered through the Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing from Israel into southern Gaza, through which most humanitarian aid, although usually not fuel, enters the Palestinian territory.

“All of the trucks carrying the fuel were inspected” by defence ministry staff, it said, adding that the fuel would go towards “essential requirements of the international community, including hospitals, humanitarian areas, logistical centres and the distribution of humanitarian aid”.

The announcement, which The New Arab could not verify, came after UN agencies warned that this week’s closures of Karm Abu Salem and the nearby Rafah crossing had halted the entry of fuel, rendering humanitarian operations all but impossible.

Andrea De Domenico, who heads the United Nations humanitarian office, OCHA, in the occupied Palestinian territories, told the AFP news agency on Thursday that 200,000 litres of fuel a day needed to enter Gaza to keep operations going.

Agencies contacted by AFP did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Israeli announcement.

While the army said it reopened Karm Abu Salem on Wednesday, aid agencies were still cautioning that getting assistance through the heavily militarised area remained extremely difficult.

“In Gaza there are no stocks” of fuel, De Domenico said Thursday. “It is completely crippling the humanitarian operations.”

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