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The situation in Gaza worsens as violence continues throughout the area.
Middle East World News

The situation in Gaza worsens as violence continues throughout the area.

At the launch of the Global Humanitarian Overview in Doha, Mr. Griffiths stated that the situation is deteriorating and emphasized the crucial need for moments of peace to be achieved.

The most recent update from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that tens of thousands of individuals who sought refuge in Rafah, located in the southern region, are in urgent need of necessities such as food, water, shelter, healthcare, and protection. These individuals have been waiting for extended periods of time near aid distribution centers.

According to the most recent report from OCHA, the violence started on October 7th when Hamas members attacked towns in southern Israel. This resulted in the death of approximately 1,200 people and the capture of 240 hostages, leading to retaliation by bombings. The report also mentioned that the insufficient sanitation facilities have caused a significant amount of open-air defecation, raising concerns about the spread of disease.

The Gaza health officials have reported that approximately 18,000 individuals have lost their lives since the conflict began. It is estimated that 70% of those casualties were women and children, and there are over 49,000 reported injuries.

‘Creative diplomacy’ needed 

Mr. Griffiths thanked Qatar for its “creative diplomacy” as part of efforts to “bring moments of peace” to the embattled enclave. 

He emphasized the increased military activity in southern Gaza and the potential threats to neighboring countries, highlighting the importance of efforts in addressing these issues.

However, the ongoing conflict caused by Hamas’ violent terrorist acts in Israel shows no signs of resolution. On October 7, these attacks, which included killings, sexual violence, and kidnappings, deeply affected the entire nation, as stated by Lynn Hastings, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory on Sunday.

The conflict between Israel and Gaza has caused a significant humanitarian crisis. Over 1.9 million people, the majority of the population, have been forced out of their homes and aid efforts are greatly affected by the ongoing violence. Very limited amounts of fuel and relief supplies have been able to enter the area.

Aid operations compromised 

The United Nations has stated that their ability to receive aid has been greatly hindered in recent days due to a lack of trucks in Gaza, communication outages, and aid workers being unable to reach the Rafah crossing where a small amount of relief supplies are coming in from Egypt.

According to OCHA, an average of 150,000 litres of fuel per day was received from Egypt over the weekend. This amount is higher than the previous daily average of 67,000 litres, but it is still the minimum required to avoid the failure of essential services such as hospitals, ambulances, water and sanitation, and shelters for those who have been displaced.

According to OCHA, 45 tonnes of cooking gas from Egypt were delivered on Sunday, marking the first shipment since the end of a seven-day ceasefire on December 1st.

Ms. Hastings, the top UN aid official for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, said on Sunday that “Israel has the obligation as the occupying power to ensure that sufficient hygiene and public health standards as well as the provision of food and medical care are available to the population under occupation.”

Much of Gaza remains in ruins following two months of bombardments.

© UNRWA/Mohammed Hinnawi

After being bombarded for two months, a significant portion of Gaza remains destroyed.

The assault on healthcare persists.

OCHA reports that there were several incidents of attacks on health facilities and workers in various locations within the Gaza Strip in the past weekend. One particularly notable incident occurred in Jabalia, a city in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, where two medical workers were allegedly killed while working at the besieged Al Awda Hospital during clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups.

Over the weekend, a group led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Palestine Red Crescent Society transported medical resources to Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza City. During the convoy, 19 severely injured individuals were also transported to receive care. According to OCHA, the convoy encountered a delay at an Israeli checkpoint in Wadi Gaza due to thorough screenings. Tragically, one of the patients passed away during the journey while a paramedic was detained and allegedly mistreated for four hours during interrogation.

According to OCHA, there is limited access for humanitarian aid to the northern area of the Strip, where a large number of civilians are currently seeking shelter.

Without peace, there can be no health.

According to OCHA, an ambulance near the European Hospital in Khan Younis was shot at on Saturday, allegedly by Israeli forces, resulting in two injured paramedics. OCHA also reported that on Sunday, the hospital area was repeatedly bombed for the third day in a row, preventing many injured individuals from receiving necessary medical treatment.

According to OCHA, Gaza’s health officials reported that since October 7th, a total of 286 healthcare workers have died and 57 ambulances have been struck and harmed.

On Sunday, a special meeting was held by the Executive Board of WHO to discuss a resolution regarding access to aid in Gaza and adherence to international humanitarian laws. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the organization, praised the resolution as a “starting point” and a foundation for further progress, emphasizing the importance of peace for overall health.

Prisoners were reportedly stripped and subjected to physical violence.

OCHA also highlighted that over the weekend in the north of the enclave Israeli forces “reportedly detained hundreds of men and boys staying in public spaces, schools serving as shelters for internally displaced persons as well as private homes”.  

According to OCHA, it is said that individuals who were detained were forced to remove their clothes, restrained with handcuffs, and instructed to kneel in public spaces. They were also allegedly subjected to physical violence, mistreatment, extreme weather conditions, and deprived of basic necessities. Pictures of these incidents were shared on social media.

According to the Israeli military, individuals suspected of ties to Hamas have been transferred to Israel for questioning, while others have been set free, as reported by OCHA.

“The source of this information is the United Nations news website.”