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Israel reopens second of three water pipelines to Gaza

Some 7.5 million gallons a day will now flow into the Hamas-ruled enclave.

Palestinians wait to collect water using horse- and donkey-drawn carts, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Oct. 28, 2023. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
Palestinians wait to collect water using horse- and donkey-drawn carts, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Oct. 28, 2023. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

Israel on Saturday reopened the second of three water pipelines to the Gaza Strip, allowing for some 7.5 million gallons per day to flow into the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.

It was reopened with the approval of the War Cabinet.

Following the Hamas onslaught of western Negev communities that began on Oct. 7 and left at least 1,400 persons in Israel dead, Israel cut off the water it supplies to the Strip on Oct. 9.

However, the first water pipe was reopened at a reduced flow last week.

Israeli water amounts to 9% of the Strip’s supply during peacetime, an official with the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit told The Times of Israel.

The 7.5 million gallons is just over half of the around 13 million gallons a day Israel supplied before the war.

COGAT said that there is now enough food and water to meet the humanitarian needs of Gaza, adding that it is constantly monitoring the situation.

COGAT also said that Hamas is distributing diesel fuel to hospitals for use in their generators, to ensure they continue to host the patients that the terrorist group uses as human shields for the military command and control centers that it placed underneath the medical centers.

“The hospitals are military operational infrastructures,” a senior COGAT official said.

Hamas has systematically turned hospitals in the Gaza Strip into terrorist command centers and hideouts, the IDF said on Friday.

According to IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the Israeli military is alerting the world about Hamas’s war crime of using hospitals in Gaza as human shields and revealed intelligence for that purpose.

“Hamas has turned hospitals into command-and-control centers, and hideouts for terrorists and commanders,” he stated. “According to intelligence in our hands, there is fuel in hospitals in Gaza, and Hamas is using it for its terror infrastructure.”

The IDF shared this information and more with intelligence agencies from allied countries, he said.

Addressing Shifa Hospital in Gaza City—the largest in the Strip, with more than 1,500 beds and 4,000 staff—Hamas is “cynically using” such places as a “shield for its underground terror complex,” said Hagari.

The Gazan network of war tunnels, dubbed “the metro” by the IDF, is often placed right next to sensitive sites such as hospitals, mosques, schools and UNRWA facilities as part of a deliberate policy by Hamas of limiting Israel Air Force strikes on terrorist targets.

Pointing to a map of Shifa Hospital, Hagari said that Hamas conducts its command and control operations out of places such as the X-ray room for terrorist activities like firing rockets.

“It is here in Shifa Hospital where Hamas operates its command-and-control cells. Hamas terrorists operate inside and under Shifa Hospital, with a network of terror tunnels. It also has an entrance to the tunnels from different places in the hospital,” said Hagari. “Right now, terrorists move freely at Shifa Hospital.”

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