US urges Israel to increase fuel, aid access to Gaza

Israel is facing criticism from the United States for not doing enough to facilitate the entry of additional fuel and aid into Gaza, prompting a call for heightened efforts by State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller on Tuesday.

Miller emphasized that Washington is actively engaged with Israel to increase the number of trucks delivering essential supplies.

Miller, addressing reporters, stated, “There is not enough being done right now. The level of assistance that’s getting in is not sufficient. It needs to go up, and we’ve made that clear to the government of Israel. The level of fuel that is going in is not sufficient. It needs to go up.”

Simultaneously, concerns are mounting about the deteriorating situation in Gaza, particularly in the south of the Palestinian enclave around the cities of Khan Younis and Rafah. A World Health Organization (WHO) official in Gaza, Richard Peeperkorn, expressed deep apprehension about the health system’s vulnerability as more people move south to escape intensified Israeli bombings.

Speaking via video link, Peeperkorn stated that WHO had complied with an Israeli order to remove supplies from warehouses in Khan Younis, with the understanding that the area could become a zone of active combat in the coming days.

James Elder, spokesperson for UNICEF, raised alarm about the safety conditions in Gaza’s areas designated as safe by Israel, emphasizing that these locations fell far short of meeting basic requirements. He warned that the absence of sanitation and shelter in these areas had created a “perfect storm” for the outbreak of diseases.

Peeperkorn of WHO stressed the urgent need for a ceasefire to make Gaza safe, highlighting the agency’s concerns about the escalating situation and the potential impact on the health and well-being of the population in the densely populated enclave.