Tue. Mar 5th, 2024
Devastating Humanitarian Crisis in GazaDevastating Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

Devastating Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza: 20,057 Palestinians Killed, 53,320 Wounded Amidst Prolonged Israeli Offensive, Witnessing Massive Destruction and Unprecedented Mass Displacement

UNITED NATIONS/CAIRO/JERUSALEM: The international community, through the UN Security Council, called for increased humanitarian assistance for Gaza. However, the UN chief expressed concerns about the way Israel conducted its military operation, stating that it was creating significant obstacles to the distribution of aid in the besieged enclave.

After extensive negotiations to prevent a potential US veto, the Security Council passed a resolution on Friday urging measures to facilitate “safe, unhindered, and expanded humanitarian access” to Gaza, along with conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities.

The resolution was moderated from previous drafts that demanded an immediate end to the 11-week conflict and a reduction of Israeli control over aid deliveries. This adjustment paved the way for the vote, during which the United States, Israel’s primary ally, chose to abstain.

Israel’s UN ambassador, Gilad Erdan, argued that the Security Council should have prioritized the release of hostages, dismissing the focus on “aid mechanisms” as unnecessary, given Israel’s purported allowance of aid deliveries on the required scale.

COAS urges UNSC to mobilize the world to end hostilities in Gaza, Humanitarian

There was a division between Hamas and the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority regarding the resolution. Hamas deemed it “insufficient” to meet Gaza’s needs and countered international calls to end “Israel’s aggression.” In contrast, the authority’s foreign ministry welcomed the resolution, considering it a step towards ending aggression, ensuring aid arrival, and protecting the Palestinian people.

Both the United States and Israel, committed to eradicating Hamas, opposed a ceasefire, arguing that it would permit Hamas to regroup and rearm.

The Biden administration has become increasingly critical of the rising casualty toll and humanitarian crisis, intensifying as Israel continues its ground and air offensive.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that Israel’s conduct was “creating massive obstacles to the distribution of humanitarian assistance” in Gaza, where the available aid is only 10 percent of what is needed, according to the United Nations.

Israel reported that 5,405 aid trucks, carrying food, water, and medical supplies, have entered Gaza since the onset of the conflict.

Israel and Hamas are working towards a new truce and a potential deal regarding hostages.

The latest update from Gaza’s health ministry reported 20,057 Palestinians killed and 53,320 wounded in the Israeli offensive. The conflict has destroyed large areas of the enclave, displacing most of its 2.3 million population.

Israel reported 140 soldiers killed since the ground incursion began on October 20.

Late-night airstrikes and shelling persisted across Gaza on Friday, dampening hopes for an imminent breakthrough in talks in Egypt aimed at securing a new truce between Israel and Hamas.

The Israeli military directed residents of Al-Bureij in central Gaza to move south immediately, indicating a shift in the ground assault’s focus from the north to the south.

Residents, faced with the dilemma of safety, responded differently to the directive. Some packed up donkey carts and left, while there was no immediate sign of large numbers from Al-Bureij joining the hundreds of thousands fleeing other areas.

An Israeli airstrike on a house in Nusseirat refugee camp resulted in three casualties, including a journalist from Aqsa TV channel and two relatives.

In the south, at least four civilians died in an airstrike on a car in Rafah. A Palestinian rescue worker reported the incident, showing a boy and a girl, covered in blood, being carried away. There was no immediate comment from Israel.

Medical charity MSF stated that Israel’s indiscriminate strikes turned the north of the Strip into rubble, emphasizing the lack of safety in Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, south Gaza.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported at least 18 Palestinians killed and dozens wounded in an airstrike on a house in Nuseirat, central Gaza, late Friday night.

The World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted the absence of functional hospitals in northern Gaza.

Israeli shelling reportedly destroyed a water desalination plant in Jabalia near the Al Amal Hospital, according to WAFA.

On Friday, President Biden and his wife expressed being “heartbroken” by the news of Gad Haggai, a 73-year-old American-Israeli believed to have been killed by Hamas in its October 7 attack on Israel. Haggai’s wife, Judith Weinstein, is still being held hostage in Gaza, as reported by Israeli media outlet Haaretz.

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