The Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights warned of deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Gaza due to “worsening fuel shortages” in a statement on Friday.
The Geneva-based human rights organisation stated that they expect the ongoing political crisis in Egypt to exacerbate the humanitarian situation in the territory.
It called on the international community “to act immediately to deal with the consequences of the current crisis, open all Gaza crossings and put more pressure on Israel to lift the ongoing blockade.”
Euro-Mid added that tunnels connecting Gaza to Egypt have been shut down due to Egyptian security restrictions in the border areas, and that eyewitnesses reported destruction of tunnels by the Egyptian army.
The organisation claimed that these tunnels are “the lifeline to provide Gaza with fuel supplies, commodities and goods that alleviate impacts of the Israeli siege which was imposed on the strip seven years ago.”
The Gaza strip is home to over 1 and a half million people.
A military spokesman said the tunnels are illegal and violate state sovereignty, adding that the issue should not come under human rights concerns.
“Violating the sovereignty of Egypt is not allowed,” he said.
He added that there are only two crossings: the Al-Auja cargo crossing, which is open at all times, and the Rafah border crossing which has been closed for the past 48 hours due to the current circumstances.
On Friday, Maher Abo-Sobha, the head of the Crossings Authority in Gaza told state-run MENA that Egypt had shut down the Rafah border crossing until further notice.
Euro-Mid says gas shortages have already reached an “alarming level,” and warned of a “catastrophic situation” in hospitals and healthcare centres.
In addition to cars that might run out of fuel, the crisis threatens to stop 4,000 fishing boats.
It added that Gaza’s sewage treatment plants need fuel to operate when there are power cuts. “If this fuel is not available, parts of Gaza city will sink in sewage water.”