There is a situation of shock and fear in Gaza as the bombing of the devastated area continues.
The noise of shells detonating around 7am in Gaza was easily heard at Nasser hospital, located in the southern region. According to James Elder of UNICEF, the children at the hospital were frightened and traumatized, immediately seeking comfort from their mothers.
“The bombs started just a few seconds after the ceasefire (ended),” Mr. Elder told journalists at UN Geneva via video link from Khan Younis, before decrying the “ongoing war on children”.
Wounds of war
As we neared Nasser Hospital, there was evidence of a hit – a missile, rocket, or some other destructive force. Children bearing the physical scars of war were scattered throughout, even in the corridors. The hospital was a place of refuge for hundreds of women and children. Upon leaving the intensive care unit, one could see families of five crammed onto a mattress meant for two.
After a week-long ceasefire, violent conflicts have resumed between Hamas fighters and Israeli troops. The temporary pause had permitted the delivery of crucial resources such as fuel, food, and water, which have been quickly consumed by the affected population, according to reports from humanitarian organizations.
The temporary break also allowed for the release of hostages who were taken during Hamas’s unexpected attack on southern Israel on October 7th and the subsequent killing of approximately 1,200 individuals. It also resulted in the liberation of Palestinian prisoners who were being held in Israel.
The health officials in Gaza have announced a total of over 15,000 deaths due to the Israeli airstrikes. It is estimated that thousands of children are trapped under the debris. In addition, the ongoing conflict has resulted in about 1,000 children becoming amputees in the past few weeks, according to Mr. Elder’s statement.
During a later interview with UN News, Mr. Elder exemplified the harsh truth that there is no safety in Gaza, recounting his first-hand experience of nearby bombings while stationed in Rafah, a city in the south.
He urged leaders who are involved in the conflict and have control over the situation to recognize that allowing these attacks to resume will result in the deaths of more and more innocent children.
The leader of the UN calls for a new appeal for a ceasefire.
On the platform X, previously known as Twitter, United Nations Chief Guterres urged for the opposing parties to resume negotiations in order to reach a lasting ceasefire that would permit much-needed aid to enter Gaza.
“I am deeply saddened by the resumption of military actions in Gaza,” he stated. “I remain optimistic that we can extend the previous ceasefire. The resumption of violence only highlights the urgency for a genuine humanitarian ceasefire.”
Hopes were crushed when there was little left to survive on.
Last week, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths stated that the recent silence of guns has shown us potential outcomes. He made this statement on Monday evening.
He stated that the current state in Khan Younis is a disturbing reminder of the consequences when they fail to act. This was evident when, after a few days of relief, there was a sudden disappointment as basic necessities were once again scarce for the people of Gaza.
“After nearly two months of conflict, the people of Gaza, including children, women, and men, are living in constant fear,” stated the head of relief efforts. “They have no safe haven and very limited resources for survival. They are surrounded by disease, devastation, and loss of life.”
He insisted on advancing the delivery of aid and the immediate and unconditional release of the remaining hostages.
“We require a ceasefire for humanitarian purposes. It is crucial that the conflict ceases.”
The chief of human rights is calling for assistance to be allowed.
“Reiterating the plea for peace, Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, shared his profound worry over statements made by Israeli political and military figures about escalating and intensifying the military attack.”
“The situation in Gaza, where fighting has resumed, is extremely dire,” stated the United Nations human rights chief. They called on all involved parties and influential countries to urgently increase their efforts in securing a ceasefire for the sake of humanitarian and human rights concerns.
Mr. Türk emphasized the vital need for upholding the human rights of both Palestinians and Israelis and urged for an immediate cessation of violence, as well as the prompt and unconditional release of all remaining hostages.
He emphasized the importance of upholding international humanitarian law by protecting civilians and urged Israel, as the occupying power, to meet the basic needs of the population in Gaza, including access to food, water, and medical care. He reminded all parties of their duty to allow and facilitate the swift and unrestricted delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza.
The hospital was described as being similar to a horror movie.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Representative for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Dr. Richard Peeperkorn, has stated that there is a severe shortage of medical care, with around 5,000 beds needed but only 1,500 currently available. Additionally, only 51 out of 72 primary healthcare facilities are currently operational in Gaza.
He stated that the continuous conflict has severely damaged the healthcare system in Gaza and he wants to emphasize the urgency of not losing any additional hospitals or hospital beds.
Dr. Peeperkorn discussed a research in The Lancet, a medical journal, which validated the death data released by the health authorities of the area in October. According to him, the total deaths reported so far include 6,200 children, 4,000 women, and approximately 4,850 men. He also mentioned that there have been over 36,000 injuries.
The floors were covered in blood.
According to Rob Holden, a Senior Emergency Officer at the World Health Organization, a small hospital in Gaza City serves as one of only three trauma centers for the northern part of the area. However, the staff is struggling to cope with the workload and there are currently bodies waiting outside in the car park while the floors inside are covered in blood.
“The only way to describe it, it’s like a horror movie. When you walk in there there are patients on the floor with the most traumatic injuries that you can imagine, potentially battlefield trauma. You know, the patients are given the best possible care, but the number of staff available is relatively small, any of this stuff, have fled with their families or have been killed.”
There is a severe shortage of supplies. It has been difficult to transport supplies to the northern area of Gaza. Upon reaching the hospital, you will see deceased bodies who passed away either upon arrival or during their stay, lined up outside as they await identification by their loved ones.
According to a representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Gaza, medical professionals, technicians, and engineers are working long hours to ensure that essential services, such as running machinery and generators, are maintained. They are working up to 22 hours a day in order to provide the most basic level of care.
The UN aid coordination office, OCHA, reiterated the plea for peace and expressed concern for the children, women, and men in Gaza and Israel who once again find themselves in a state of war on Friday. OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke emphasized the responsibility of all parties involved to ensure the safety of civilians and to allow humanitarian organizations to provide aid in accordance with international humanitarian law.
“Humanitarian aid must continue unconditionally, hostages must be released unconditionally. The UN will continue to stay and deliver food, water, medical and other critical supplies to save lives.”