Lack of fuel would be 'main reason' for deaths in Gaza if not supplied, warns UN
The UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees warned on Thursday that a lack of fuel would be the "main reason" for deaths in the Gaza Strip if fuel is not supplied to the besieged region.
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"We need a cease-fire now, and fuel," Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said at a press conference in Geneva.
Nothing that the establishment of cease-fire is "long overdue," Lazzarini added: "A decision (on fuel) should have been taken a long time ago, but the more we wait, the more we will see the siege taking over and that could become the main reason why people would die and be killed into Gaza Strip."
He said they received a "tiny" amount of fuel, "half of a truck," on Wednesday, but that Israel has restricted the use of that fuel to aid trucks arriving at the Rafah crossing.
"There is nowhere safe in Gaza, within the north, in the south, in the middle" he warned, adding that people have been asked to go from the north to the south, but in reality, one-third of them killed in the south.
“So the south is not safe," he stressed.
"Even the UN compounds are not safe," he said, citing the fact that up to 60 of them have been hit since the conflict began.
Moreover, he noted, that UNRWA lost at least 103 colleagues during the conflict.
In response to Anadolu's question about the restrictions on the volume of aid entering Gaza through Rafah, the commissioner-general said "hardly 10% of what used to come into Gaza" was entering the enclave prior to Oct. 7, at a time when the needs were of a "different nature."
The current system is "geared to fail unless there is political will," Lazzarini warned.
Since Oct. 7, at least 11,500 Palestinians have been killed, including over 7,800 women and children, and more than 29,200 others have been injured, according to the latest figures from Palestinian authorities.
Thousands of buildings, including hospitals, mosques, and churches, have also been damaged or destroyed in Israel's relentless air and ground attacks on the besieged enclave.