According to Tom White, the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Gaza, teams from the agency and WHO were attempting to access the Khan Younis Training Centre. This was mentioned in a post on the social media site X.
Around 30,000 individuals are currently seeking refuge at the location, and according to Philippe Lazzarini, the Commissioner General of UNRWA, the number of casualties may potentially be higher. Lazzarini also utilized the platform to express his sorrow for “yet another dreadful day in Gaza”.
The compound is labeled as a “UN facility” and its coordinates were given to Israeli authorities, as we do for all of our facilities,” the speaker stated, expressing frustration with the repeated violation of basic rules of warfare.
Shock and resignation
During a press briefing from Jerusalem, Jamie McGoldrick, interim UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, stated that the recent intense fighting in Khan Younis was reflected in the incident.
On Tuesday, Mr. McGoldrick gave an update to reporters about his trip to Gaza. He expressed concern about the difficulties faced by humanitarian workers in providing essential services like food, medical aid, housing, clean water, and sanitation to those who have been forced to leave their homes.
Due to this, the individuals are facing significant challenges in coping with the situation. The initial shock is beginning to subside and people are coming to terms with the fact that this is a reality they will have to deal with for a considerable amount of time.
During his time in Gaza, Mr. McGoldrick traveled to the city of Rafah in the south, which is situated on the border with Egypt and serves as a gateway for aid to enter the enclave.
Rafah normally has a population of around 280,000, which has swelled to an estimated 1.2 to 1.4 million as people fleeing fighting elsewhere pack into the city, setting up makeshift shelters and tents in the streets.
The unclean and unhealthy living conditions have resulted in the spread of respiratory infections and hepatitis A, both of which had previously been eliminated in Gaza. Meningitis and other diseases are also on the rise.
Shelter and safety
The ongoing dispute in Gaza has resulted in 75% of the population being forced to leave their homes. This has led to approximately 1.7 million individuals seeking refuge in UNRWA and public emergency shelters, as well as makeshift locations.
According to him, those offering aid are encountering significant challenges in providing housing for individuals who have been forced to flee to the southern region for protection. This includes individuals who have relocated from Rafah to the town of Al-Mawasi, where there is insufficient support and resources from aid organizations due to the large number of people in need.
On a typical day, approximately 250 trucks pass through the Rafah border, compared to the previous average of 500 trucks from private companies bringing in essential goods every day.
More supplies needed
According to Mr. McGoldrick, the United Nations and its collaborators are working diligently to address significant obstacles, many of which are beyond their influence. He stressed the importance of establishing “minimum operating requirements” in order for them to operate more effectively.
“We require increased supplies from the private sector and the Israeli authorities in order to expand our pipelines and access essential life-saving materials, including communication equipment,” the speaker stated.
The lack of necessary equipment such as radios and functional communication tools in hostile areas puts humanitarian workers at risk. Additionally, they are also lacking in armored vehicles for protection.
Critical items ‘prohibited’
Additionally, the Israeli government has placed restrictions on the entry of humanitarian goods into Gaza, particularly those related to water and sanitation, according to the humanitarian aid worker’s statement.
“He stated that these items have potential uses in various areas, including as pumps, generators, spare parts, water sanitation pipes, solar panels, and medical equipment. These are crucial in our efforts to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis.”
Certain medical supplies consist of essential medications used to manage long-term conditions like insulin injectors designed for kids.
Humanitarian workers are encountering challenges in obtaining adequate supplies for shelter, such as tarps, blankets, and non-food items.
Fuel for hospitals
According to Mr. McGoldrick, additional fuel is necessary to reach the northern areas in order to power generators within hospitals like Al-Shifa. This is because these hospitals are operating without anesthesia and electricity, while also treating patients who are sick and injured.
He stated that there is currently no established medical or casualty evacuation system in place to transport individuals with serious injuries out of Gaza.
“We have been collaborating with Israel to try and transport individuals to nearby countries where they can receive advanced surgical procedures,” he stated.