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Israel not to supply water and fuel to Gaza until all the hostages are released

Israel’s Energy Minister Yisrael Katz said on Thursday that no humanitarian aid would flow into Gaza until all Israeli hostages were released.

Yisrael Katz said in a statement:

“Humanitarian aid to Gaza? No electric switch will be turned on, no water tap will be opened and no fuel truck will enter until the Israeli abductees are returned home.”

Gaza residents told the media on Thursday that survivors could barely find clean water. One resident said:

“We don’t have any electricity or water left, people need it not just to drink but to clean themselves. People are queuing up to get water, there are only three trucks which have clean water to serve the whole of Gaza. People are also waking up early to queue outside bakeries just to get some bread.”

In the centre of Gaza City, people are wandering around looking for some source of food as they cannot cook at home after Israel cut off electricity to the region.

Palestinian militants have kidnapped more than 150 Israelis and more than 1,300 Israelis have been killed, the heaviest losses suffered by the state in half a century.

Since then, Israel has been massively bombing the Gaza Strip, home to more than two million people, causing massive destruction and burning entire neighbourhoods. Gaza resident told:

‘We don’t have any electricity or water left, people need it not just to drink but to clean themselves.’

On Wednesday, Gaza’s only power plant shut down after running out of fuel. Israel has imposed a total siege on the Gaza Strip, cutting off fuel, water, energy and food supplies. Electricity has been cut off in parts of the Gaza Strip for several days, with some areas receiving only four hours of electricity a day.

Health workers report that they are relying on backup generators to keep essential services running. All medical facilities in the region are stretched to capacity due to the huge number of casualties. The ongoing Israeli bombardment has killed at least 1,200 Palestinians and injured more than 5,000.

Ashraf al-Qedra, a spokesman for Gaza’s health ministry, said some hospitals were running on old and “decrepit” generators, causing fuel to be consumed at double the rate. He said:

“We are really concerned that the power generators may cease functioning at any given moment.”

The Palestinian Authority for Prisoners’ Affairs said on Thursday that Israel has completely cut off access to water and electricity for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. According to human rights group Addameer, there are 5,200 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. The statement added.

 “This is a disturbing step of revenge, as it is unthinkable to leave nearly a thousand detainees without water for all these hours.”

Gaza-based Hamas has fired a barrage of rockets at Israel, calling it Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. Hamas officials say their operation was in response to the storming of the Al Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and increased settler violence. In response, the Israeli army launched Operation Iron Swords against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

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