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Israeli fuel to Gaza is "far from enough" to cover humanitarian needs, U.N. official says

Editor's Note: For the latest news on the Israel-Hamas conflict, please see our live updates file here.

Limited telecom services have returned to Gaza after Palestinians had been largely cut off for days from the world, but United Nations officials Saturday said the fuel for humanitarian operations that was delivered by Israeli officials is still far less than what is needed.

, Israeli officials approved only half of the daily fuel minimum requirement, according to the top U.N. commissioner for Palestinian refugees.

It’s “far from enough” to cover the basic needs of civilians, to keep the desalination plants and sewage pumps running, as well as fueling aid trucks, ambulances and communications services, Philippe Lazzarini, U.N. commissioner for Palestinian refugees, said in a statement.

“We call for adequate, regular, and unconditional delivery of fuel to maintain all our critical lifesaving activities in the Gaza Strip,” Lazzarini said. "The last few days have seen a drastic reduction in these services including water availability and sewage clearance with serious consequences on people in need.”

Palestinians fleeing Gaza City and other parts of northern Gaza carry some belongings as they walk along a road leading to the southern areas of the enclave on Nov. 18, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement.

On Friday, Israel agreed to allow two tanker trucks, carrying about 60,000 liters of fuel, to enter each day into Gaza. A U.S. State Department official said 10,000 liters of that gas will be used to power Gaza’s communication network. in the weeks following the Oct. 7 attacks for fear that Hamas would use the fuel to power its ongoing war against Israeli forces in the territory.

To date, around 11,500 Palestinians have died since the war began last month, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which is run by Hamas. Two-thirds of the dead are women and children. About 1,200 people in Israel have been killed, the vast share of them are civilians killed during Hamas’ attacks on Israeli kibbutzes near the border with Gaza on Oct. 7.


  • , the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, that he had seen "horrifying" images and footage of people killed and injured in a U.N. school that had been sheltering thousands of displaced people in the northern Gaza Strip.
  • that soldiers were fighting Hamas militants in the Zaytun and Jabaliya areas of Gaza City.
  • The Tanzanian Foreign Ministry confirmed the death of , one of two Tanzanian students who were agriculture interns who were believed to have been kidnapped by Palestinian militants in early October.
  • to back the Israel Defense Force’s claims that Hamas had used the hospital as a command center. In the meantime, the hospital director told Al Jazeera that 52 patients had died since fuel ran out. That's an increase from when Israeli troops entered the hospital on Wednesday and 40 people were dead, the hospital director said. Other patients at the time of the Al Jazeera report were close to dying, another doctor said.
  • The partial services had been restored by using limited amounts of fuel.
  • Hundreds of protesters blocked traffic in Los Angeles on Friday evening, calling for a cease-fire.

‘Deplorable situation’ at Shifa Hospital in Gaza that’s ‘unbearable and unjustifiable,’ World Health Organization head says

Shifa Hospital has become a “deplorable situation,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

In recent days, Israeli forces have searched Gaza’s largest hospital for a Hamas command center while patients, staff and people displaced have left amid the fighting. Dozens of people have died, including babies, as fuel for hospital generators has run out,

On Saturday, Ghebreyesus said WHO officials assessing Shifa facilities saw a hospital that was no longer able to function, without water, food, electricity or fuel, and with its medical supplies depleted.

“Given this deplorable situation and the condition of many patients, including babies, health workers requested support to evacuate patients who cannot receive lifesaving care there anymore,” he said. “We are working with partners to develop an urgent evacuation plan and ask for full facilitation of this plan.”

He added, “The current situation is unbearable and unjustifiable,” and called for a cease-fire.

In reaffirming support for two-state solution, Biden says cease-fire ‘is not peace’

In a published Saturday, President Joe Biden reaffirmed his support for a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, though said a cease-fire would allow Hamas to regroup. A cease-fire, he said, “is not peace.”

Instead, Biden laid out two goals to move forward with the crisis in Gaza.

First, he wrote, Gaza should never be used as a platform for terrorism, adding that there shouldn’t be forced displacement, reoccupation, siege or blockade, or reduction of territory. This appears to contrast with comments Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu made to ABC News in early November that Israel would have overall security responsibility in Gaza “for an indefinite period.”

Secondly, Biden called for a “revitalized” Palestinian Authority to singularly govern Gaza and the West Bank. Meanwhile, he called on the people who are committing extremist violence in the West Bank to be held accountable. The U.S. was prepared to issue visa bans against extremists attacking civilians, he said.

“The international community must commit resources to support the people of Gaza in the immediate aftermath of this crisis, including interim security measures, and establish a reconstruction mechanism to sustainably meet Gaza’s long-term needs,” he said. “And it is imperative that no terrorist threats ever again emanate from Gaza or the West Bank.”

Attacks continued in southern Gaza

An Israeli airstrike hit a residential building on the outskirts of the town of Khan Younis, killing at least 26 Palestinians, according to a doctor at the hospital where the bodies were taken.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Israel's forces have begun operating in eastern Gaza City while continuing its mission in western areas. “With every passing day, there are fewer places where Hamas terrorists can operate,” he said, adding that the militants would learn that in southern Gaza “in the coming days."

His comments were the clearest indication yet that the military plans to of Gaza where Israel had told Palestinian civilians to flee early in the war. The evacuation zone was already crammed with displaced civilians, and it was not clear where they would go if the offensive moved closer.

It was not clear how the Shifa hospital evacuation occurred. On Saturday, the military said it had been asked by the hospital’s director to help those who would like to leave do so by a secure route.

Israel's military said it did not order any evacuation. But Medhat Abbas, a spokesman for the Health Ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza, said the military had ordered the facility cleared, giving the hospital an hour to evacuate people from the premises.

A Shifa physician, Ahmed Mokhallalati, said on social media that about 120 patients remained, including some in intensive care and premature babies, and he and five other doctors were staying.

It also was not clear where people who left the hospital had gone, with 25 of Gaza's hospitals non-functioning due to lack of fuel, damage and other problems, and the other 11 only partially operational, according to the World Health Organization.

- The Associated Press

Smoke billows following Israeli airstrikes on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Nov. 18, 2023, amid the continuing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

Satellite images show people fleeing south from Gaza City

Satellite images on Friday showed people fleeing Gaza City, headed southward, as ӣƵ reported. This comes after warnings from the IDF about bombardment, and criticism from the international community about a lack of humanitarian aid.

Images captured by Maxar Technologies showed streams of people traveling along an evacuation route that spanned north to south across the Gaza Strip.

This handout satellite picture released by Maxar Technologies on Nov. 17, 2023, shows a crowd of people fleeing toward the southern part of the Gaza Strip, gathered along the Salah Al-Din road, as battles between Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants continue.

Pro-Palestinian protesters force their way into a University of Michigan building

Forty people were arrested Friday night and two police officers were injured after a group of pro-Palestinian protesters forced their way into a building on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, police said.

Video posted on social media showed protesters pushing past police into the Ruthven Administration Building, the site of the offices for Sana Ono, the university president. About 200 people then entered the building, Deputy Police Chief Melissa Overton, of the university police. said.

Once inside, protesters chanted, calling for the university to divest from Israel, and waved Palestinian flags, as captured on the video of the event. About 10 police agencies, including state police, assisted campus officers.

Around 7:30 p.m., officers began warning protesters to leave or be subject to arrest, Overton said, adding that those arrested were processed at the scene and then released.

No details were provided about the injuries to the two officers.

- The Associated Press

Contributing: The Associated Press, ӣƵ

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