Israel approves some fuel for UN trucks in Gaza, source says

FILE PHOTO: Aid trucks arrive at a UN storage facility in the central Gaza Strip

BEIRUT (Reuters) -Israel has given approval for 24,000 litres (6,340 gallons) of diesel fuel to be used by trucks for United Nations operations in the Gaza Strip, a humanitarian source said on Tuesday.

Aid agencies in the enclave say a chronic lack of fuel has hampered efforts to deliver food, water and medicine to Palestinians in Gaza, under siege as Israel wages war against Hamas militants.

The fuel is only meant for U.N. trucks, and not for hospitals, the source said. The United States pressured the U.N. to accept the fuel, the source added.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment. There was no immediate comment from Hamas.

It was not immediately clear how the fuel would be delivered.

Citing U.S. and Israeli sources, Axios reported that Israel plans to allow trucks used by the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA in Gaza to refuel on Wednesday at the enclave's Rafah crossing with Egypt.

Gaza health officials have suspended operations at many of the enclave's hospitals due to lack of fuel and other supplies.

Colonel Moshe Terto, who heads an Israeli defence ministry body that handles civil affairs in Gaza, said Israel is monitoring the fuel situation "on a daily basis".

"(We) will coordinate and facilitate the entrance of fuel when it (is) needed," Terto said.

(Reporting by Maya Gebeily in Beirut and Emily Rose in JerusalemEditing by Chris Reese and Howard Goller)