As the IDF continues to consolidate its gains in northern Gaza, Hamas militants are finding ways to continue their operations regardless. Israel has softened its stance on the supply of fuel on Friday as sewage systems and the water supply reached the verge of collapse.
Israel’s national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi delineated that the lack of fuel in Gaza has impacted hospitals quite severely, as electrical systems failed bringing surgeries to a halt and leading to the deaths of multiple patients in the ICU.
A major issue has been Hamas’s ability to control the fuel and aid sent into Gaza, using it to their benefit instead of distributing it to the civilian population.
A major effort is being made to secure the release of hostages by way of an agreement between the two warring parties. This comes in the wake of two hostages being found dead in the past two days as the war in Gaza rages on.
The current scenario of the conflict
Since the initiation of Israel’s offensive on October 7th came in the form of airstrikes, followed summarily by a ground offensive in the northern region. As a result, 12,000 people have lost their lives, out of which an estimated 5,000 are said to be children. Another 30,000 have been injured as Israel continues to push forward with its offensive.
Israel’s Southern Offensive
It has been stated by sources in the IDF that Israel is not only prepared but is also planning on advancing into other regions of Gaza to root out Hamas militants completely from the Gaza Strip. This would include a push into southern Gaza, if necessary, an eventuality that will come to pass judging by the progression of the conflict.
As the Israeli military asserts with confidence that the northern region of Gaza, Gaza city included is now firmly in Israel’s control, little information has been offered by Israel as to what the plan of action is, post occupation.
Assaults on Hospitals in Gaza
The Israeli offensive in Gaza has led to 26 hospitals out of a total 35, shutting down due to damage from airstrikes or a lack of fuel.
Reports have also suggested that ICU patients in Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital, the largest in the region, have died due to a lack of fuel to keep ventilators functional, as well as a lack of oxygen. According to Dr Ahmad Mofeed Al-Mokhalalati, the hospital has neither water, nor electricity in the main buildings of the compound.
Israel allows the entry of fuel into Gaza
Israel has facilitated the crossing of two fuel tankers into Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt, following a decision by the Israeli War Cabinet to permit regular deliveries after intense pressure was levied upon them by the Unites States.
Reportedly, the fuel will be stockpiled at a depot in Rafah, where UN relief agency trucks will be able to use the supply to carry out hospital operations, bakery operations, water and sewage support, as well as waste disposal.
Drinking water crisis
Israel has been condemned for “weaponizing drinking water” in Gaza by United Nations Human Rights officials. As a result of the crisis, dehydration and water borne diseases have become a major issue in Gaza.
Multiple humanitarian organizations including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), have focused on the need for fuel to keep desalination stations and water pumps functional.
Sources have stated that 70% of the civilians in Gaza are now drinking contaminated water.