Israel Releases Photos of Hamas’s Half-Million Liters of Fuel
Jerusalem, 25 October, 2023 (TPS) -- Israeli authorities released on Tuesday aerial images of Hamas storage tanks in the Gaza Strip containing at least half a million liters of fuel, stressing that questions regarding fuel shortages should be addressed to the Islamist group and not Jerusalem.
“Near the Rafah border crossing [to Egypt], Hamas owns fuel tanks, containing hundreds of thousands of liters of fuel. Please refer the ones complaining about no fuel in Gaza to Hamas,” the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit tweeted.
“Hamas has fuel. Hamas has quite a lot of fuel,” IDF spokesman Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan Conricus told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “And they can decide where to use that fuel.
“And I find it strikingly absent from the discussion … what is Hamas doing with the resources that it has? It’s only about Israel and Egypt and international organizations. What about Hamas? Why aren’t questions posed to Hamas: ‘Why don’t you use some of the fuel you have stockpiled and hoarded in advance of this situation and use it for the civilians?'”
In a separate interview with TIMES NOW, an English-language Indian news outlet, Conricus said, “We are not obliged to provide any aid to an enemy entity that uses all the energy and resources it has to kill our civilians and fight us.”
Conricus reiterated that Hamas has stockpiled fuel and water that it could provide to hospitals. He also noted that out of “compassion and understanding,” Israel has set up a humanitarian zone in the south of the Strip and allowed aid to flow to Palestinian civilians.
Some have questioned Israel’s decision to allow goods to enter the Gaza Strip, particularly as Hamas still holds more than 200 hostages taken during its Oct. 7 massacre, and aid for civilians in the past has been systematically diverted to the terrorist group.
The Israel Defense Forces responded to with an aerial photograph showing 12 large white vats lined up in two rows.
“These fuel tanks are inside Gaza. They contain more than 500,000 liters of fuel,” the IDF posted. “Ask Hamas if you can have some.”
On Oct. 23, U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said during the department’s press briefing that “the humanitarian organizations that are operating inside Gaza to distribute the humanitarian assistance that we have flowing in from Rafah need to have the ability to do so; they need fuel to be able to do so.
“Fuel is important for the desalination of water; it’s important to the provision of medical care,” he added. “The Israelis do have legitimate concerns about the diversion of any fuel to Hamas. You can understand why they would be concerned about that.”
On Oct. 16, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which supports Palestinian refugees wrote in a since-deleted social media post that “a group of people with trucks purporting to be from the ministry of health of the de facto authorities in Gaza [Hamas] removed fuel and medical equipment from the agency’s compound in Gaza City.”
The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office assured TPS on Sunday that Israel has the ability “to make sure that aid is not being smuggled to Hamas; that Hamas is not using those humanitarian corridors in order to smuggle war materiel.”
An official from the UNRWA and an Egyptian source said six trucks loaded with fuel to power generators at two hospitals entered Gaza from Egypt on Sunday.
However, the PMO and COGAT denied the report, claiming that the trucks were already inside Gaza and transferring fuel within the Strip, from U.N. fuel depots to hospitals.