November 16, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Allows Fuel to Gaza Through Egyptian Border 

November 16, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Allows Fuel to Gaza Through Egyptian Border 

Latest Developments 

A truck carrying fuel for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) crossed the Egyptian border into the Gaza Strip on November 15, the first such delivery since October 7. Humanitarian aid has flowed across the Egypt-Gaza border since October 21, but Israel has restricted fuel deliveries for fear they will end up in Hamas’s hands. Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), explained the policy on October 24, noting, “Hamas takes the petrol for its military infrastructure.”  

Expert Analysis 

“By allowing the passage of fuel to Gaza, Israel has demonstrated its humanity and given the Biden administration a win. Israel’s attempts to alleviate the suffering of Gazan civilians stands in stark contrast to Hamas’s efforts to extract maximum suffering from civilians on both sides of the conflict.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network  

“Israel giveth and Hamas taketh away. That’s been the story of Gaza for years and it won’t change until Hamas’s existence comes to an end.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor 

Hamas Hoards Fuel for Terror 

Israel’s office for liaising with the Palestinians, known as the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), published evidence on October 24 of a Hamas depot with a stockpile of over 130,000 gallons of fuel. Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, an IDF spokesman, explained on October 26, “It’s all inside the Gaza Strip and there’s enough for many days, for hospitals and water pumps to run, only the priorities are different. Hamas prefers to have all of the fuel for its warfighting capabilities, leaving civilians without it.” 

Hamas draws on the fuel stockpile to run its network of underground tunnels. For example, Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy said on X on October 26 that Hamas is using the fuel “for tunnel ventilators under hospitals—and not for hospital ventilators.” On November 3, the IDF released audio of a Gaza health official confirming that Hamas is storing over half a million liters of fuel underneath Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip.  

Israel Coordinates Humanitarian Deliveries to Gaza 

On November 14, the IDF confirmed that it is coordinating the delivery of incubators to Al-Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip. “Following the IDF’s offer of humanitarian assistance to the director general of the Shifa Hospital, the IDF initiated a humanitarian effort to coordinate transfer of incubators from a hospital in Israel to the Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said. Hagari said on October 27 that “hundreds of terrorists flooded into the hospital to hide” after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7. 

Israel Points to Hamas’s Hoarding of Gaza Fuel,” FDD Flash Brief 

10 Things to Know About Hamas Tunnels,” FDD Insight 

IDF COGAT: ‘We Are Not in Fight Against Civilians of Gaza,” by Seth J. Frantzman 


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