Ben Gvir and Smotrich
Ben Gvir and SmotrichOlivier Fitoussi/Flash 90

Following pressure by the US, the Political-Security Cabinet on Wednesday evening approved an increase in the supply of fuel entering the Gaza Strip.

Most of the ministers supported the decision. Ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir objected and voted against.

A statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Office said that the cabinet “approved the War Cabinet's recommendation to allow the minimal addition of fuel necessary to prevent a humanitarian collapse and the outbreak of epidemics in the southern Gaza Strip.”

“The minimum scope will be determined from time to time by the War Cabinet in accordance with the morbidity and the humanitarian situation in the Strip,” the statement added.

Minister Ben Gvir said at the meeting, “This fuel is used by Hamas. We said a few weeks ago that not even one drop would enter, and suddenly we are changing the red line? In order to defeat Hamas and terrorism, we must stop with the concept.”

Israel to this point had allowed about 60,000 liters of fuel to enter Gaza every day for humanitarian needs. The US administration demanded that a daily amount three times higher, 180 thousand liters, be permitted to enter the Strip.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant supported the move only after it was determined that it would be done gradually, and claimed that its continuation should also be conditioned on the possibility of the Red Cross meeting the hostages held by Hamas and who have not yet been released.