Rafah’s hospitals will run out of fuel in three days, WHO says

The World Health Organisation says it has only three days of fuel for its medical operations in southern Gaza, with shortages already forcing one of three remaining hospitals in the city of Rafah to shut down.

The Rafah border crossing with Egypt has been closed since Israel’s military took control of the Palestinian side early on Tuesday, blocking the entry of desperately needed humanitarian aid.

The UN says northern Gaza is already in a state of “full-blown famine”.

Israel Palestinians
Holding Israeli flags, people stand in front of trucks carrying humanitarian aid as they try to stop them from entering the Gaza Strip in an area near the Kerem Shalom border crossing (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

However, UN officials say no aid has entered Gaza, and there is no one to receive it on the Palestinian side because of ongoing fighting.

A spokesman said that with rockets falling and other military activities, there is an issue of safety of humanitarian personnel.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters on Wednesday that humanitarian staff are rationing fuel to stretch what’s available for as long as possible.

“But it is clear that it is a matter of hours, if not days, where we will have no more fuel,” Mr Dujarric said.

Israel Palestinians
Israeli soldiers work on armoured military vehicles at a staging ground near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

The war in Gaza has driven around 80% of the territory’s population of 2.3 million from their homes and caused vast destruction to apartments, hospitals, mosques and schools across several cities.

The death toll in Gaza has soared to more than 34,500 people, according to local health officials.

The war began October 7 when Hamas attacked southern Israel, killing around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducting about 250 others.

Israel says militants still hold around 100 hostages and the remains of more than 30 others.

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