UN warns of collapse of Gaza services after Hamas destroys fuel depot

Gaza is facing yet another humanitarian crisis as a result of Hamas’ violent and destructive actions. 

By: AP and World Israel News Staff

The United Nations has warned that an alternative method of getting fuel to Gaza must be found urgently; otherwise, dwindling supplies needed to run hospitals, collect garbage, pump water and treat sewage will run out.

The appeal late Sunday by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) came two days after hundreds of Palestinian rioters, led by Hamas, destroyed the Kerem Shalom fuel terminal at the main cargo crossing with Israel, the only entry point for fuel to Gaza. Officials say it could take months to repair the damage.

Following the destruction of the Kerem Shalom Crossing, Israel’s Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman approved the IDF’s recommendation to close the passageway until further notice. It will remain closed until the damages caused by the riots, estimated at some NIS 30 million, are repaired.

The crossing will reopen in accordance with a situation assessment, the IDF said.

The rioters’ actions have brought to a halt dozens of trucks that carry merchandise and equipment to Gaza from Israel on a daily basis, including fuel.

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Hamas harms Palestinians

Israel has held Gaza’s Hamas rulers responsible, while the Islamic terror group has not commented publicly.

“The Hamas terror organization is harming the well-being of Gazans,” the IDF said. “Israel and other countries work to deliver goods such as food, equipment and fuel to Gaza’s citizens, initiatives which Hamas’ actions prevent. Hamas is responsible for everything that happens in Gaza, above and below ground.”

“Due to the vandalizing of the Kerem Shalom humanitarian crossing, for the second time in two weeks, by Palestinian rioters, the crossing will be closed until further notice to allow for repairs. Hamas is responsible for this and other acts of violence,” IDF Spokesman Lt. Cl. Jonathan Conricus stated.

The destruction of the Kerem Shalom Crossing was part of the so-called March of Return weekly riots, orchestrated by Hamas.

For the past seven weeks, Hamas has been leading a series of protests under the “March of Return” banner. The terrorist group says the riots will culminate with “decisive” action on May 15, the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel, which the Palestinians observe as Nakba Day, meaning “Day of Catastrophe.”