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Israel-Palestine crisis: Gaza’s north cut off from aid; death toll rising

According to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health, 8,805 Palestinians have been killed since 7 October, including at least 3,648 children and 2,187 women, and some 22,240 have been injured, UN humanitarian coordination affairs office OCHA said.

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Strikes on Jabalia Refugee Camp

OCHA stressed that as Israeli ground operations and bombardments in northern Gaza continued, “among the deadliest incidents” were heavy airstrikes hitting Jabalia Refugee Camp on Wednesday “for the second day in a row and within less than 24 hours”. The strikes reportedly destroyed multiple residential buildings and killed “dozens”, OCHA said.

The UN human rights office OHCHR noted on Wednesday that given the high number of civilian deaths and injuries in Gaza “and the scale of the destruction following Israeli airstrikes on Jabalia refugee camp, we have serious concerns that these are disproportionate attacks that could amount to war crimes.”

Dozens of cancer patients could die

Meanwhile, in a blow to scores of chronically ill patients, Gaza’s main cancer treatment centre, the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, ran out of fuel and was forced to stop most of its activities. The lives of some 70 patients are in danger, OCHA wrote on social platform X on Thursday.

OCHA also sounded the alarm over reports that the Al Hilo Hospital, also in Gaza city, was reportedly struck by shelling Wednesday night. “The hospital had absorbed and replaced Shifa hospital’s maternity ward, which is being used now to treat the wounded,” OCHA said.

Currently, 14 out of 35 hospitals across Gaza are not functioning.

No aid deliveries to the north

Gaza city and northern Gaza have been “largely cut off” from the rest of the strip as a result of the Israeli ground operations and related clashes with Palestinian armed groups, OCHA said.

This means that the delivery of humanitarian aid from the south to some 300,000 internally displaced persons in the north has “come to a halt”.

Medical supplies at a WHO warehouse in Gaza are prepared for delivery.
© WHO

Medical supplies at a WHO warehouse in Gaza are prepared for delivery.

OCHA reported that on Wednesday ten trucks carrying water, food and medicines entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing on the enclave’s southern border with Egypt, bringing the total number of aid trucks allowed in since 21 October to 227.

UN relief chief Martin Griffiths, who just completed a visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, said that “the trucks which have crossed into Gaza so far following painstaking negotiations offer some relief but are nowhere near enough”.

The entry of fuel essential for hospitals, ambulances and water desalination plants remains banned by the Israeli authorities.

More to follow…

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