Israel not doing enough to allow fuel, aid into Gaza -US

Palestinians wait to fill their cars with fuel, in Khan Younis

By Humeyra Pamuk and Daphne Psaledakis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Israel needs to do more to allow fuel and other aid into Gaza, the United States said on Tuesday as Israel's offensive against Hamas in southern areas of the Palestinian enclave intensified.

"The level of assistance that's getting in is not sufficient," U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said at a press briefing. "It needs to go up, and we've made that clear to the government of Israel."

On Monday, 100 humanitarian aid trucks and about 69,000 litres of fuel were delivered to Gaza from Egypt, the United Nations said, about the same as Sunday.

"This is well below the daily average of 170 trucks and 110,000 litres of fuel that had entered during the humanitarian pause that took place between 24 and 30 November," U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters on Tuesday.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on his third trip to the Middle East since the Hamas attack on Israel from Gaza on Oct. 7, last week pressed the Israeli government to increase the flow of aid and to minimize civilian harm in its offensive against Hamas.

Israeli forces stormed southern Gaza's main city of Khan Younis on Tuesday, and hospitals struggled to cope with scores of Palestinian dead and wounded.

In what appeared to be the biggest ground assault in Gaza since a truce with Hamas unraveled last week, Israel said its troops - who were backed by warplanes - had reached the heart of Khan Younis and were surrounding the city

A World Health Organization official in Gaza said on Tuesday the situation was deteriorating by the hour.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Daphne Psaledakis, Kanishka Singh and Michelle Nichols; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Grant McCool)