Israel’s energy minister Israel Katz said on Thursday the country will not allow basic resources — including electricity, water and fuel — or humanitarian aid inside the Gaza Strip until Hamas released Israeli hostages.
Katz said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, “Humanitarian aid to Gaza? No electrical switch will be turned on, no water hydrant will be opened and no fuel truck will enter until the Israeli abductees are returned home. Humanitarian for humanitarian. And no one will preach us morals.”
As reported by AFP, more than 150 Israelis and foreigners have been kidnapped and taken to Gaza by Hamas militants since Saturday, when the group levelled an unprecedented attack on Israeli towns which has led to the death of over 2,500 people on both sides. Israel retaliated with intense air and ground strikes on Gaza.
Soon after Israel announced war with Hamas, it planned a “complete siege” on Gaza as it cut off water, fuel and electricity supply in the strip.
Palestine’s only power plant shut down on Wednesday after it completely ran out of fuel. Three out of five water plants in Gaza have also run out of fuel and shut down.
The United Nations Humanitarian Office said that the counterstrikes by the Israeli government have led many to face shortages of water, fuel and medical supplies. Over 650,000 people in the Gaza Strip face dire water shortages because of the strikes and over 12,600 homes have sustained damages due to Israeli bombs.
Hamas terrorists on Saturday entered Israeli towns using boats, motor gliders and trucks killing and abducting Israeli citizens and soldiers. Hamas also attacked an open music festival killing over 260 attendees.
AP reported on Thursday that Palestinians lined up outside bakeries and grocery stores in Gaza as Israeli military spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said that they were preparing for a “ground manoeuvre”, which would end up increasing the death toll further.