UN urges Israel to allow emergency aid into Gaza

UN urges Israel to allow emergency aid into Gaza
The UN has urged Israel to allow fuel to enter the besieged Gaza Strip as the humanitarian crisis in the enclave persists.
2 min read
08 August, 2018
Fuel shortages are contributing to Gaza's humanitarian crisis [Getty]


A UN aid agency called on Israel on Wednesday to let emergency fuel into the besieged Gaza Strip to avert the shutdown of hospitals and sanitation facilities.

Jamie McGoldrick, from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, called Israel's restriction of fuel imports "a dangerous practice, with grave consequences on the rights of people in Gaza."

Israel halted the supply of petroleum and natural gas to Gaza last week in response to incendiary kites and balloons launched from Gaza into southern Israel. Israel temporarily suspended fuel shipments to Gaza in July for similar reasons.

Israel strictly controls both crossings and has enforced a siege on Gaza since 2007, shortly after Hamas took control of the coastal strip.

UN officials and rights activists have repeatedly called for Israel to lift the blockade against Gaza, citing deteriorating humanitarian conditions.

The coastal enclave suffers from a severe lack of electricity and relies on fuel-powered generators during outages that last hours at a time.

Israel insists its blockade is necessary to isolate Hamas, with which it has fought three wars since 2008, scarring the besieged enclave.

Critics say it amounts to collective punishment of the coastal enclave's two million residents. The UN says Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020, but human rights organisations say Gaza has reached inhabitability now.

Agencies contributed to this report.