Israeli military says Hamas stockpiling 500,000 liters of fuel while aid agencies decry shortage

The IDF and COGAT show images of half a million liters of fuel held by Hamas, that are being used to fight Israel, as opposed to helping civilians.

By Andrew Bernard, The Algemeiner

Israel on Tuesday released satellite images depicting what it described as stockpiles of half a million liters of diesel fuel controlled by Hamas as UN agencies claimed that their operations were on the verge of ceasing for lack of power.

“There’s fuel in Gaza to run hospitals and pump water,” Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan Conricus posted on X/Twitter. “But Hamas prefers to use the fuel to continue fighting Israel. All those who claim otherwise are whitewashing Hamas crimes against their own.”

Conricus shared a post from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), a unit in the Israeli Defense Ministry, showing the purported fuel tanks.

The IDF also posted a similar message from its own X/Twitter account showing fuel tanks in Hamas-controlled Gaza, suggesting the UN ask the Palestinian terrorist group for the fuel it needs.

UN agencies have said that they are critically low on fuel supplies used to power electrical generators at hospitals and desalination facilities. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which is the largest humanitarian actor in Gaza, said that it would have to halt operations on Wednesday for want of fuel.

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“Without fuel, there will be no water, no functioning hospitals and bakeries,” UNRWA said in a statement. “Without fuel, aid will not reach those in desperate need. Without fuel, there will be no humanitarian assistance. No fuel will further strangle the children, women, and people of Gaza … Without fuel, we will fail the people of Gaza whose needs are growing by the hour, under our watch.”

The World Health Organization on Tuesday said that it had delivered 34,000 liters of fuel to four hospitals in southern Gaza, but that the delivery would only sustain their operations for 24 hours.

Israeli officials on Tuesday also pointed out that Hamas had stolen fuel supplies from the UN in the opening days of the war.

“We know for sure that there’s plenty of fuel in Gaza. Hamas has stored fuel in advance, and is stealing fuel from both civilians and the UN, to power its war machine against Israel,” Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan wrote on X/Twitter. “When will the UN understand that they are empowering Hamas’ terror regime by not holding them accountable?”

UNRWA last week issued a statement saying that “the de facto authorities” in Gaza — meaning Hamas — had seized fuel and medical supplies from UNRWA’s evacuated headquarters in Gaza City. UNRWA then deleted its own statement and claimed that Hamas’ seizure of the supplies was a routine transfer.

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“UNRWA would like to confirm that no looting has taken place in any of its warehouses in the Gaza Strip,” UNRWA said in its follow-up statement. “The images circulating on social media were of a movement of basic medical supplies from the UNRWA warehouse to health partners.”