Israel Refuses Humanitarian Break in Gaza Siege Until Hostages are Freed

Rockets are launched by Palestinian militants into Israel, in Gaza May 10, 2021. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) —  Israel said on Thursday there would be no humanitarian break to its siege of the Gaza Strip until all its hostages were freed, after the Red Cross pleaded for fuel to be allowed in to prevent overwhelmed hospitals from “turning into morgues”.

Israel has vowed to annihilate the Hamas movement that rules the Gaza Strip in retribution for the deadliest attack on Jews since the Holocaust, when hundreds of gunmen poured across the barrier fence and rampaged through Israeli towns on Saturday.

The gunmen killed at least 1,200 people, mostly civilians gunned down in their homes or on the streets, and carried scores of hostages back to Gaza, according to Reuters.

Israel has responded so far by putting the enclave, home to 2.3 million people, under total siege and launching by far the most powerful bombing campaign in the 75-year history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, destroying whole neighbourhoods.

Gaza authorities say more than 1,200 people have been killed and more 5,000 people have been wounded in the bombing. The sole electric power station has been switched off and hospitals are running out of fuel for emergency generators.

“The human misery caused by this escalation is abhorrent, and I implore the sides to reduce the suffering of civilians,” Fabrizio Carboni, regional director of the International Committee of the Red Cross, said in a statement on Thursday.

“As Gaza loses power, hospitals lose power, putting newborns in incubators and elderly patients on oxygen at risk. Kidney dialysis stops, and X-rays can’t be taken. Without electricity, hospitals risk turning into morgues.”

Israel’s Energy Minister Israel Katz said there would be no exception to the siege without freedom for Israeli hostages.

“Humanitarian aid to Gaza? No electrical switch will be lifted, no water hydrant will be opened and no fuel truck will enter until the Israeli hostages are returned home. Humanitarian for humanitarian. And nobody should preach us morals,” Katz posted on social media platform X.

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