WHO Records 600 Healthcare Attacks in Gaza in 3 Months
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says hospitals in Gaza and other vital medical infrastructure have been attacked nearly 600 times since war erupted in the enclave in response to the Hamas-led terror attack in southern Israel.
No fewer than 613 people have died within facilities as a result since Oct. 7, 2023, and more than 770 have been injured, according to latest data on healthcare attacks from WHO.
Condemning the continuing fighting and bombardment, WHO spokesperson, Christian Lindmeier, said the “ongoing reduction of humanitarian space plus the continuing attacks on healthcare are pushing the people of Gaza to breaking point.”
Children in the Gaza Strip face a deadly triple threat to their lives, as cases of diseases rise, nutrition plummets and the escalation in hostilities approaches its fourteenth week.
Thousands of children have already died from the violence, while living conditions for children continue to rapidly deteriorate, with increasing cases of diarrhea and rising food poverty among children, raising the risk of mounting child deaths.
WHO’s online platform covering attacks on healthcare indicated that more than 550 medical facilities and vehicles had been impacted in the almost 100 days since constant Israeli airstrikes began in Gaza.
The attacks have affected 94 healthcare sites including 26 hospitals damaged out of a total of 36 in the enclave.
The head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Catherine Russell, in a statement on Friday said children in Gaza had been caught in a nightmare that worsened with every passing day.
Catherine Russell noted young lives are “increasingly at risk from preventable diseases and lack of food and water. All children and civilians must be protected from violence and have access to basic services and supplies.”
Cases of diarrhoea in children under five rose from 48,000 to 71,000 in just one week starting Dec. 17, 2023, equivalent to 3,200 new cases of diarrhea per day.
She said the significant increase indicated child health in Gaza is “fast deteriorating.”
Before the escalation in hostilities, an average of 2,000 cases of diarrhea in children under five were recorded per month.
Meanwhile, the UN agency providing help to Palestinians (UNRWA), said the total number of staff killed since the beginning of hostilities stood at 142.
The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees also reported that since October 7, 2023, up to 1.9 million people had been displaced across the Gaza Strip, some multiple times. NBS And The Task of Delivering Reliable National Data
This number represents over 85 per cent of the population of the Gaza Strip, UNRWA said, adding that families had been forced to move “repeatedly in search of safety.”
Nearly 1.4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) now shelter in 155 UNRWA facilities across all five governorates of the Gaza Strip.
This figure includes 160,000 in the north and Gaza City, according to data last revised shortly after the escalation began.
Another 500,000 people “are in close vicinity of these installations and receiving assistance” from UNRWA, the UN agency said in an update.
The UN’s migration agency (IOM) launched an urgent appeal on Friday for 69 million dollars to support its response to rising and critical humanitarian needs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The appeal also covers neighbouring countries affected by the ongoing hostilities in Gaza.
In a statement, IOM said hundreds of thousands of civilians needed aid desperately.
But getting help to them continues to be hampered by “long clearance procedures for humanitarian aid trucks at the border (and) the intense ground operation and fighting.
“Frequent disruption to communication networks has also prevented humanitarian aid coordination.”
The UN agency said along with insecurity, roads were blocked and scarcity of fuel persisted.
Outside Gaza, IOM noted that deteriorating security situation along border areas between Israel and Lebanon had forced some 76,000 people from their homes in southern Lebanon.