US asks Israel to let more fuel into Gaza, take additional steps to protect civilians

AFP , Monday 4 Dec 2023

The United States said Monday it was asking Israel to let more fuel into the battered Gaza Strip after the end of a pause in its war on the enclave.

Trucks carrying fuel and aid drive in Gaza
A convoy of trucks carrying fuel and aid drive in Gaza City s Zeitoun district on the second day of a temporary truce between Israel and Hamas. AFP

 

"The Israeli government was not early on Friday allowing fuel to go in," State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.

"We had some very frank conversations with them about the need for fuel to come in and saw some fuel going in Friday," he said.

"We saw additional fuel go in Saturday, but it's at the level of fuel that we were at before the pause began.

"We've made clear we want to see it back up not just to the level of fuel that went in during the pause, but actually higher."

The US also said it had seen some improvement by Israel in narrowing targets in its Gaza offensive.

Days after a truce ended just as Secretary of State Antony Blinken was visiting, Miller voiced guarded praise for Israeli tactics as its campaign expands to the south.

"What we have said is they need to take additional steps to protect civilians," Miller told reporters.

"We've seen a much more targeted request for evacuations" than in the earlier campaign in the north, he said.

"So that is an improvement on what's happened before."

As a result of Israeli actions, "the numbers of displaced persons will hopefully be lower in southern Gaza than it was in the north," he said.

"But when it comes to results, we are going to monitor it very closely."

* This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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