The United Nations on Wednesday decried Israel's use of fuel as a weapon of war as it has put strict restrictions over fuel entering into Gaza Strip, paralysing delivery of assistance to Palestinians.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) stated that the organization had received just over 23,000 liters of fuel in Gaza on Wednesday. That is only 9 percent of what is needed daily to sustain lifesaving activities, according to UNRWA.
"The Israeli Authorities have restricted the use of this fuel only to transport the little aid coming via Egypt," UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini stated.
The continued use of fuel as a tool of conflict is deeply distressing, Lazzarini said as he emphasized that UNRWA had been appealing for fuel to support its humanitarian endeavors in Gaza for the last five weeks.
"It is appalling that fuel continues to be used as a weapon of war," Lazzarini said. "By the end of today, around 70 per cent of people in Gaza will not have clean water. Key services including water desalination plants, sewage treatments and hospitals have ceased to operate."
Solely allocating fuel for transportation won't suffice to save lives any longer, Lazzarini warned as he said that "waiting longer will cost lives."
"Much more fuel is needed," he said. "We need 160,000 liters of fuel every day for basic humanitarian operations."
Lazzarini urged Israeli authorities to immediately authorize the delivery of the necessary fuel as mandated by international humanitarian law.
UNRWA is a U.N. organization established in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees. It operates in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.