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UNRWA says Israel-imposed fuel shortage about to shut down its operations in Gaza

A man sits among the rubble as Palestinians gather at the site of an Israeli strike in the city of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza Strip on November 12, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

The United Nations refugee agency for Palestinians, UNRWA, says its operations in the Gaza Strip, which has come under a genocidal war by Israel, are about to grind to a halt due to a fuel shortage caused by the regime's complete blockade of the territory.

"The humanitarian operation in Gaza will grind to a halt in the next 48 hours as no fuel is allowed to enter Gaza," UNRWA's Gaza chief Thomas White wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

"No fuel has entered Gaza since October 7," he added, referring to the date when the Israeli regime began its war of aggression on Gaza in response to an operation staged by the territory's resistance groups.

"...There's nothing that we can do," he told reporters, adding, "That's the reality of an aid operation that's being strangled of resources to serve people in need."

White, meanwhile, warned that the lack of fuel meant "no pumping of sewage or waste removal," something that will raise the risk of disease outbreak.

He also said trucking contractors transporting drinking water and other supplies from Gaza's Rafah border crossing with Egypt were now running on empty.

This is not the first time that international agencies have been warning about the lack of basic supplies in the territory and the risk to hospitals as well as water and waste water treatment facilities.

According to Gaza's Health Ministry, 21 out of 35 hospitals with inpatient facilities have stopped functioning either due to damage from Israeli shelling and airstrikes or lack of fuel.

Also on Monday, a surgeon with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said hundreds of people stranded at Gaza's al-Shifa Hospital are enduring "inhuman" conditions, adding, "We don't have electricity. There's no water in the hospital."

Witnesses said the Israeli regime has deployed tanks and armored vehicles just meters away from the gates of the facility.

The regime claims that the hospital accommodates Hamas' "military headquarters." The resistance movement strongly denies the allegation.

The Health Ministry also said there are dozens of bodies on the streets of northern Gaza, where the heaviest fighting rages on, adding that ambulances come under Israeli fire when they try to retrieve them.

On Sunday, the regional directors of several UN agencies said over the past 36 days, the World Health Organization has recorded at least 137 Israeli attacks on healthcare facilities in Gaza, resulting in the killing of 521 people and the injury of 686 others.

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