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

Sources tell newspaper terror group has stocks that could last for months, as it prepares for lengthy fight ahead

Palestinians collect boxes and and bags from a UN-run aid supply center, distributing food to local Palestinians and people displaced in Gaza, in Deir al-Balah on October 28, 2023. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)
Palestinians collect boxes and and bags from a UN-run aid supply center, distributing food to local Palestinians and people displaced in Gaza, in Deir al-Balah on October 28, 2023. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

Arab and Western officials told The New York Times over the weekend that Hamas is stockpiling food and fuel in the Gaza Strip, keeping it from residents who are in desperate need.

The comments back up similar Israeli assertions.

The officials told the paper Friday that the terror group has amassed stores in its vast network of tunnels.

The unnamed sources said Hamas has hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel, which it is using to power rockets, vehicles and other military uses, as well as stockpiles of water, medicine and food.

A senior Lebanese official told the newspaper that Hamas has enough supplies for the terror group to sustain fighting for three to four months without a need for resupply.

The officials spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity so as not to reveal their sources.

Earlier this week, the IDF issued photos it said showed fuel tanks in the Gaza Strip, asserting it had information that half a million liters of fuel were being kept there by Hamas. The military has asserted that Hamas is stealing fuel from civilians in Gaza.

An image shared by the IDF showing twelve oil tanks in which Hamas allegedly stores its reserves while the Gaza Strip is running out of fuel during the ongoing war with Israel, October 24, 2023. (IDF Arabic spokesman on X)

Israel, which usually provides fuel to Gaza, halted all transfers following Hamas’s October 7 assault on the country, when the terror group abruptly launched a ground, air and sea assault. Under the cover of a barrage of thousands of rockets, over 2,500 gunmen crossed the border and rampaged murderously through southern towns, killing more than 1,400, most of whom were civilians. Over 230 more were taken hostage.

Israel has barred the entry of fuel into Gaza after imposing a complete blockade on the coastal enclave in the early hours of the war. However, a number of aid convoys of food, water and medical equipment have been allowed in via Egypt.

Israel has said it will allow food, water and medical supplies — but not fuel — to enter southern Gaza from Egypt, for Palestinian civilians, as long as the supplies do not reach Hamas.

The IDF says it will not allow fuel into the Gaza Strip, as it says it is used by Hamas to manage the fighting against Israel. Spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari has said a great deal of Hamas’s ability to operate “relies on fuel.”

The UN has warned that hospitals and other vital services in the Palestinian territory risk shutting down without fuel deliveries.

The IDF insists that there is currently no humanitarian crisis in Gaza and that it is closely monitoring the situation.

Read more: Amid concern for humanitarian situation, how much water and power does Gaza have?

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