Geneva, Nov 16 (EFE).- The United Nations denounced Thursday what it called an attempt to “strangle” the humanitarian operation in the Gaza Strip by completely cutting off fuel supplies.
“I believe there is a deliberate attempt to strangle our operation and paralyze the operation,” UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini told journalists in Geneva.
“We run the risk to have to suspend the entire humanitarian operation,” he said. “I do believe that it is outrageous that humanitarian agencies have been reduced to begging for fuel.”
The lack of fuel is making it impossible to transport humanitarian aid, deliver water and carry out other essential tasks.
Lazzarini added that water has become an obsession for Gazans, with everyone walking around with a canister in hand, remembering that fuel is essential for the operation of desalination plants that turn seawater into drinking water.
For the first time since the start of the war, about 23,000 liters of fuel (equivalent to half a tanker truck and considered a ridiculous amount) entered Gaza on Wednesday, but Israel did not allow any more and made it a condition that it be used exclusively for transportation and not for desalination plants or bakeries.
Lazzarini confirmed that communications in Gaza have been completely cut off today because the companies that provide this service have also used up their last fuel reserves and their equipment cannot continue to operate.
He anticipated that this could quickly lead to “a situation of fear and panic” among the population.
“It can provoke or accelerate (the breakdown of) the last remaining civil order we have in Gaza,” Lazzarini said of the power outage, warning of the scale of loss and destruction in Gaza.
UNRWA has confirmed 103 deaths among its workers in Gaza since the start of the war, but Lazzarini said the number is likely higher and their remains are still under the rubble.
“They had nothing to do with any of this, they were public servants serving their community,” he said.
On the other hand, the head of UNRWA confirmed that a third of the deaths since the start of the war between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas in Gaza have occurred in the south of the enclave, the same sector to which the Israeli army ordered the northern population to evacuate.
“There is no safe place in Gaza, not in the north, not in the south, not in the central area, not even the UN compound is safe,” he said.EFE