Get Informed, Stay Inspired

The residents of Gaza are facing challenges in order to survive, while assistance has been delivered to a hospital in need.
Middle East World News

The residents of Gaza are facing challenges in order to survive, while assistance has been delivered to a hospital in need.

On Wednesday, foreign ministers from the G7 countries joined global efforts by calling for temporary breaks in the conflict to safeguard innocent civilians, facilitate the delivery of aid, and secure the freedom of over 240 individuals who have been taken hostage by Hamas in Gaza since October 7th.

The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that bakeries in the northern region are not operating due to shortages of fuel, water, and flour. Furthermore, there has been no distribution of food or bottled water in the area for a week.

Convoy under fire

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hospitals in the northern region are performing surgeries without anaesthesia due to a shortage of medical supplies.

In addition to the concerning state of healthcare, according to OCHA, a group of five WHO and UNRWA trucks, accompanied by two ICRC vehicles, were attacked while transporting vital medical resources to Gaza City’s Shifa and Al Quds hospitals on Tuesday.

According to OCHA, two trucks were harmed and a driver was hurt, however the convoy successfully arrived at Al-Shifa hospital and completed its delivery.

The United Nations leaders are cautioning about “catastrophic” circumstances.

On Wednesday night, UNRWA stated that they successfully delivered essential emergency medical supplies and medications from WHO to Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City. They acknowledged the significant dangers faced by their staff and health partners during the process.

The chief of UNRWA, Phillipe Lazzarini, and WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus released a statement stating that this was only the second time lifesaving supplies were delivered to the hospital since Israel initiated a complete blockade of Gaza.

The leaders of WHO and UNRWA expressed their appreciation for the delivery, but stated that the amount was not enough to meet the overwhelming needs in Gaza. They also noted the dire state of the Al-Shifa hospital, the largest and one of the oldest healthcare facilities in Gaza.

“Currently, there is a ratio of nearly two patients per available bed. The emergency department and wards are experiencing an excess of patients, resulting in doctors and medical staff having to treat injured and ill individuals in hallways, on the ground, and outside,” they stated.

Tens of thousands of displaced people have sought shelter in the hospital’s parking lots and yards.  

The Al-Shifa Hospital has long been a crucial healthcare facility in Gaza. Its dedicated medical staff have bravely stepped up to meet the urgent needs of the current crisis. However, additional support is necessary.

The top officials of the United Nations stated that it is imperative to not isolate or deprive the northern areas of Gaza of humanitarian aid. Patients in this region must receive the necessary healthcare that they are entitled to and urgently require. It is crucial that aid reaches all of Gaza.

99 UNRWA staffers killed

Stéphane Dujarric, the UN Spokesperson, addressed journalists in New York today at noon to report that the ongoing Israeli bombardment has resulted in the death of 99 staff members of the UN Palestine refugee agency (UNRWA).

When responding to inquiries from reporters, Mr. Dujarric stated that there must be consequences for the fatalities once the conflict comes to an end.

The risk of disease transmission is rapidly increasing according to the World Health Organization.

The UN health agency has stated that the increasing number of deaths and injuries in Gaza are being compounded by overcrowding and disruptions to essential services such as healthcare, water, and sanitation. This poses a significant risk of infectious diseases spreading quickly, with concerning patterns already being observed.

Insufficient fuel has resulted in the closure of desalination facilities, greatly raising the likelihood of bacterial illnesses, such as diarrhea, being transmitted through the consumption of polluted water. The lack of fuel has also caused disruptions in solid waste disposal, creating conditions that are favorable for the rapid and widespread spread of disease-carrying insects and rodents.

The current state is worrisome for nearly 1.5 million individuals who have been forced to leave their homes in Gaza. This is especially alarming for those residing in cramped shelters with limited access to sanitation and clean water, which heightens the chances of spreading infectious diseases, as stated by WHO.

Evacuation continues

At the same time, Israel carried out bombings in multiple areas of the Gaza Strip, while Palestinian militant groups continued to launch projectiles towards Israel.

According to reports, Israeli soldiers have entered Gaza City to track down Hamas militants responsible for the fatal attacks in southern Israel on October 7th.

According to OCHA, the Israeli military has restated its orders for residents in the northern area to evacuate. This has occurred for the fourth day in a row, with the military also creating a path along a main road to allow residents to move southward within a four-hour timeframe.

According to UN monitors, approximately 15,000 individuals may have utilized this pathway. OCHA emphasized that most of them, including children, elderly individuals, and those with disabilities, arrived on foot and with very few possessions.

Children who are dependent on life support may be in danger.

On Tuesday the Israeli army also renewed its evacuation orders for the Rantisi hospital in Gaza City, the only paediatric facility in the north, “claiming that armed groups were using its premises and surroundings”, OCHA said.

The health authorities in Gaza have stated that evacuating the area would put the lives of numerous children at risk. These children are currently receiving critical medical care such as life support, kidney dialysis, and respiratory assistance.

War crime warning

According to a UN-appointed independent expert, it has been reported that up to one-third of buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed. The expert emphasized that international laws, including humanitarian, criminal, and human rights laws, strictly forbid the systematic or widespread bombing of homes, civilian structures, and infrastructure.

According to Balakrishnan Rajagopal, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, conducting attacks with the intention of destroying civilian housing and infrastructure, ultimately making a city like Gaza uninhabitable for civilians, is considered a war crime.

The UN Human Rights Council appoints independent experts, known as UN Special Rapporteurs. They are not affiliated with the UN as employees and do not receive payment from the UN for their duties.

Chronic water shortage

According to OCHA, obtaining food and water in southern Gaza continues to be difficult. Since October 7th, eleven bakeries have been destroyed and the only functioning mill in Gaza is currently not operational due to a shortage of electricity and fuel.

According to OCHA, bread is only given to bakeries at irregular intervals, causing people to wait in long lines outside the few functioning bakeries. This puts them at risk of being struck by airstrikes.

According to OCHA, the amount of water brought in from Egypt in bottles and jerry cans is only satisfying four percent of the daily water needs of the residents. This is based on a distribution of three litres per person per day, which includes water for cooking and hygiene purposes.

Aid ‘a drop in the ocean’

On Tuesday, a total of 81 trucks transported essential items such as food, medication, healthcare supplies, bottled water, and hygiene products from Egypt to Gaza via the Rafah crossing. As of 21 October, a total of 650 aid trucks have made their way into Gaza since deliveries resumed.

OCHA stated that before the conflict began, an average of 500 trucks arrived in Gaza daily for aid delivery. WHO has described the amount of assistance they have been able to offer as “a small fraction” of the immense needs.

The United Nations has continuously requested for increased aid to be allowed into the territory. This Thursday, UN emergency coordinator Martin Griffiths will attend a global summit on providing humanitarian assistance to the civilian population of Gaza, on behalf of Secretary-General António Guterres, at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.