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IDF: Hamas will steal fuel for tunnel ventilation systems and rockets

TJI Wrap
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IDF: Hamas will steal fuel for tunnel ventilation systems and rockets

Published: 31 October 2023

Last updated: 5 March 2024

Officials say when fuel runs out, electricity will shut down and Hamas will be forced out into the open. Arab, Western officials agree Hamas is keeping Gaza food, fuel for itself.

Israel has refused to let deliveries of fuel enter Gaza because Hamas will use it to arm its military infrastructure such as rocket launchers and ventilation systems in its network of tunnels.

A security official told the Walla news agency that Hamas is worried that Gaza will soon run out of fuel and there will be no electricity, which will cause the ventilation systems in the tunnels under the enclave to shut down. When the electricity runs out, the Hamas terrorists will be forced out of the tunnels into the open air, the official claimed.

“What interests the Hamas leadership is the fuel, not food and water. Why? Because most of its leadership and fighters are in tunnels deep underground. They need power to circulate air, operate the communication systems, and activate the rocket launchers."

Israel's military spokesperson Daniel Hagari has accused Hamas of stealing petrol from UNRWA, adding: "Petrol will not enter Gaza. Hamas takes the petrol for its military infrastructure."

The claim was backed up by a senior adviser to Prime Minister Netanyahu, Mark Regev, in an interview with CNN. Regev also said that Hamas had stolen a delivery of fuel that entered Gaza before October 7.

After the UNRWA relief agency cautioned that the humanitarian consequences of withholding fuel could be severe, the IDF claimed that Hamas has been stockpiling fuel in tanks inside Gaza that it does not give to Palestinian civilians. CBS News has not verified this claim.

"These fuel tanks are inside Gaza. They contain more than 500,000 litres of fuel," wrote the Israeli military with an aerial photograph showing what appears to be two rows of white circular containers on the ground below. "Ask Hamas if you can have some."

Security source: When the power goes, Hamas will be forced out of the tunnels (Israel National News)

WATCH: Why Israel won't allow fuel to enter Gaza (CNN)

Arab, Western officials agree Hamas is keeping Gaza food, fuel for itself – NY Times (Times of Israel)

Why is there a fuel shortage in Gaza, and what does it mean for Palestinians? (CBS)

Israel's military tells UN in Gaza: ask Hamas for fuel (Reuters)

Photo: People on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing wave flags as a convoy of lorries carrying humanitarian aid crosses to the Gaza Strip. (Mohammed Assad/AFP)

The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

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