After two grueling months of warfare against Hamas, Israel has made the critical decision to incrementally increase fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip. This initiative, stimulated by the intention to avert a humanitarian crisis, follows the severe restrictions on fuel shipments that were implemented in response to a brutal attack by Hamas on October 7. The resulting shortages have dealt a crippling blow to Gaza's healthcare system and the distribution of vital supplies.
The Release of Hostages and Increased Aid
Under pressure from the United States, Israel has acquiesced to increasing the daily fuel supply following a temporary truce that enabled the release of 105 hostages and the promise of increased aid. However, the precise quantity of this escalation, originally set at 60,000 liters per day, remains under debate, with suggestions ranging from 120,000 to 180,000 liters daily.
The Need for U.S. Support
Despite opposition from some Israeli ministers, the decision is deemed pivotal in maintaining U.S. support for Israel's military objectives. Concurrently, the Gaza health ministry reports a staggering 16,000 deaths, including women and children. Nonetheless, these figures lack independent verification. Most of Gaza's population has been displaced, leading the UN to characterize the situation as 'apocalyptic' and caution against a total collapse of public order.
Call for Ceasefire
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged for an immediate ceasefire and invoked a seldom-used UN charter clause to implore Security Council intervention. Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, however, has criticized Guterres, insinuating that his mandate threatens global peace.