Jerusalem : United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick has called on the Israeli authorities to immediately allow the entry of UN-purchased emergency fuel into the Gaza Strip.
“Restricting the entry of emergency fuel to Gaza is a dangerous practice, with grave consequences on the rights of people in Gaza,” said McGoldrick in a press statement issued Wednesday by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory.
“The well-being of two million people, half of whom are children, is at stake. It is unacceptable that Palestinians in Gaza are repeatedly deprived of the most basic elements of a dignified life,” he added.
The fuel, which is available and awaiting entry by the Israeli authorities, is needed to power backup generators required in the context of Gaza’s chronic energy crisis.
Since August 2, the Israeli authorities have prohibited the entry of fuel into the Gaza Strip, in the context of tightened import and export restrictions. This followed an early restriction on the entry of fuel that lasted from 16 – 24 July. According to the Israeli authorities, the intensified measures come in response to the launching of incendiary kites from Gaza into Israel, which has caused extensive property damage.
“Gaza desperately needs longer-term solutions so we can move past this cycle of repeated or worsening crises, including that Palestinian authorities prioritize the provision of fuel for essential services,” McGoldrick said, adding: “Until that happens, Israel must reverse the recent restrictions, including on the entry of emergency fuel, and donors must step in and fund emergency fuel, in order to avoid a disease outbreak or other major public health concern.”
The recent developments have exacerbated the existing humanitarian crisis caused by the Israeli 11-year blockade of the Gaza, raising concerns over collective punishment and human rights violations, alongside an unresolved internal Palestinian political divide.