Scoop: Israel plans to allow UN trucks in Gaza to refuel at Rafah crossing
Israel plans to allow trucks used by the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) in Gaza to refuel at the Rafah crossing on Wednesday, according to four U.S. and Israeli sources.
Why it matters: The UN, other aid groups and hospitals have said they desperately need fuel to deliver aid to those in need in Gaza or to run generators that have been powering hospitals.
- If the refueling takes place on Wednesday, it will be the first time Israel has allowed a significant amount of fuel into Gaza since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack.
What they're saying: A spokesperson for UNRWA said they had no information to provide when asked if the agency's trucks would be allowed to refuel on Wednesday.
- The spokesperson pointed Axios to UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini's statement on Tuesday in which he called for fuel to be allowed into Gaza.
- "UNRWA set off alarm bells over the fuel situation three weeks ago, warning about its fast-depleting supplies, and the impact on lifesaving operations," Lazzarini said in the statement.
- "Since then, we have heavily rationed the use of fuel and accessed pre-existing, limited amounts stored in a depot inside the Gaza Strip, through close coordination with Israeli Authorities. The depot is now empty," he added.
- "It is unbelievable that humanitarian agencies have to beg for fuel and operate on life support. Since the beginning of the war, fuel has been used as a weapon of war and this should stop immediately."
Between the lines: A senior Israeli official said Israel's decision to allow UN trucks to refuel was made at the request of the Biden administration and in coordination with Israeli security services.
- The U.S. official echoed that statement, saying the decision is the result of U.S. diplomatic efforts over the last two weeks.