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Israel approves daily fuel transfer to Gaza for water, sewage treatment after US request

Israeli national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi cites fear of disease affecting Gaza residents, Israeli soldiers, the military campaign and hostages for the move.
Trucks carrying fuel enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing with Egypt, Oct. 22, 2023.

Israel’s war cabinet agreed early Friday morning to a "special request" by the Biden administration to allow the entry of fuel into southern Gaza to keep sewage and water treatment systems operating, Israeli national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi said at a press conference.

The decision came against the backdrop of growing pressure by the United States to replenish fuel supplies so that hospitals along with the water and sewage systems can continue to function. Humanitarian agencies have been warning of the risk of mass disease and starvation. 

Over 1.6 million people, or about three fourths of Gaza's population, have been displaced by the war. On Friday, the executive director of the UN World Food Program Cindy McCain said that "supplies of food and water are practically nonexistent in Gaza," warning that civilians face "the immediate possibility of starvation."

Addressing the press, Hanegbi confirmed reports that the war cabinet had agreed to allow two fuel trucks a day into Gaza to deliver 60,000 liters of fuel, a quantity sufficient for generators to supply electricity for sewage and water treatment facilities. He noted that the amount constitutes 2%-4% of the fuel usually entering the enclave on a daily basis.

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