NewsTension is rising in the Middle East. Oil is getting more expensive after the attack on a hospital in Gaza

Tension is rising in the Middle East. Oil is getting more expensive after the attack on a hospital in Gaza

Increasing number of victims in the attack on a hospital in the Gaza Strip.
Increasing number of victims in the attack on a hospital in the Gaza Strip.
Images source: © PAP | MOHAMMED SABER
ed. LOS

5:51 PM EDT, October 18, 2023

A rocket fell on the Anglican Baptist Hospital Al-Ahli in the Gaza Strip. Al-Arabiya station reports that the number of fatal victims in the attack exceeded 800. After the explosion, tension in the Middle East is rising. This is reflected, among other things, in the increase of oil prices in the USA.

The situation in the Middle East is escalating. Israel is responding to an attack that a little over a week ago was carried out by the Palestinian Hamas. The Israeli army is responding with bombings of Palestinians, somewhat trapped in the Gaza Strip. The number of fatalities on both sides of the decades-long conflict is increasing.

On Tuesday (October 17th), another civilian tragedy occurred. A rocket fell on Al-Ahli hospital, where there were tens of thousands of people. Al-Arabiya Station reports that over 800 people were killed.

The President of the Palestinian Authority accused Israel of an attack, essentially "genocide". In turn, Tel Aviv responds that the rocket was launched by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization, which is an ally of Hamas. Due to the attack, visits by US President Joe Biden, among others, in Jordan and Egypt were called off.

Oil prices in the USA are rising after an attack on a hospital in the Gaza Strip

- President Biden is outraged and saddened by the death of innocent victims in the explosion at a hospital in Gaza and has ordered advisers to gather information on this matter - said John Kirby, spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council.

However, Iran's Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, called for "global unity" against Israel, which is a "regime more hated than the Islamic State", on platform X (formerly Twitter).

Tensions in the Middle East also reflect on commodities markets. "Oil prices on the New York fuel exchange are rising after an attack on a hospital in Gaza, increasing tensions in the Middle East ahead of the arrival of US President Joe Biden in the region," - brokers report.

A barrel of West Texas Intermediate oil for November delivery costs $88.57 on the NYMEX in New York, up by 2.20 percent, after Tuesday's price increase of over $2. Brent Crude for December delivery is valued at $91.63 per barrel on ICE, up by 1.92 percent.

Good data from China doesn't help

Experts, however, point out that the increase in oil prices may not only be a result of the attack on a hospital in the Gaza Strip but also surprisingly good macro data from China, which is the world's largest importer of this commodity. And the largest buyer of Iranian and Saudi oil.

In the meantime, oil stocks are falling in the USA, which may suggest that the demand for fuels is improving. The American Petroleum Institute (API) said in its report that last week the stocks fell by about 4.38 million barrels.

However, gasoline inventories in the United States have decreased by about 1.478 million barrels in the past seven days. According to API, distillate fuel inventories fell by 0.612 million barrels.

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