Bowing to US pressure, Israel permits more fuel into Gaza

The war cabinet announced it would double the amount of oil sent into Gaza from 60,000 to 120,000 liters by Thursday and eventually to 180,000.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Under pressure from the Biden Administration, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced Israel would implement a “minimal” increase in fuel transports to Gaza to prevent a humanitarian crisis.

In the first few weeks of the war with Hamas, Israel did not permit fuel into Gaza because of concerns Hamas may redirect supplies for their military instead of for humanitarian purposes.

When it was clear the hospitals required more fuel to keep functioning, the IDF attempted to deliver fuel, but these deliveries were thwarted by Hamas.

However, during the week-long ceasefire, Israel began allowing the transport of 60,000 liters of fuel to keep hospitals functioning and for civilian uses.

Washington has since placed pressure on Israel to increase to triple this amount. Channel 12 reported that the war cabinet announced it would double the amount to 120,000 liters by Thursday and eventually to 180,000.

Strategic Affairs Minister, Ron Dermer revealed that the compromise was essential to maintain the support of the United States, which is concerned about the rising Gazan civilian death toll.

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Currently, Hamas’ Health Ministry claims that 16,000 people in Gaza have been killed since the beginning of the conflict. Still, these numbers haven’t been confirmed by an outside source nor do they indicate the number of civilians compared to combatants.

The decision to permit more fuel into Gaza was staunchly opposed by Bezalel Smotrich, the finance minister, and Itamar Ben-Gvir, the national security minister, who voted against the measure.

Another critic of the decision to provide Gaza with more fuel is former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett who took X to express his disapproval.

Bennett wrote on X: “Allowing fuel to Gaza during the war is injecting energy into Hamas. This is a serious mistake, and especially when our hostages are being held in inhuman conditions and against International law, and are not even allowed visits from the Red Cross.”

“The fuel is literally the oxygen of Hamas. Without it Hamas would collapse. Hamas uses fuel for its ventilation and lighting systems in its terror tunnels, to move forces and other terrorist actions against us.”

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“Someone who sends our soldiers against a cynical enemy should know how to stand up to pressure, especially at such a vital point in the war.”