Israel has said its ongoing bombardment of Gaza will not stop until the release of Israeli hostages taken during the recent Hamas attack.

Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz has reaffirmed that no utilities, including electricity, water, and fuel, will be provided to Gaza until their demands are met.

The current crisis was sparked by the kidnapping of over 150 Israeli hostages during a series of Hamas attacks on Israeli settlements built in occupied Palestinian territories. Around 1,200 Israelis died in the Hamas attacks, according to the Israeli government. In response, Israel has launched retaliatory airstrikes, killing over 1,300 Palestinians, including over 200 children, and displacing 338,000 Palestinians in Gaza, which has been under crippling Israeli military siege since 2007.

One pressing concern in the Gaza siege is the shortage of essential utilities.

Gaza’s only power station ran out of fuel on Wednesday. The territory is now reliant on generators for electricity. Hospital generators in Gaza are also at risk of running out of fuel, the International Committee of the Red Cross warned. Such a phenomenon will jeopardise critical medical services.

In response to the Israeli bombardment of Gaza , over 5,000 rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel since the weekend.

Meanwhile, Egypt has urged Israel to halt missile strikes near the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, as the attacks are disrupting operations at the crossing. Egypt has also stated that the crossing is currently open.