Palestinians in Gaza have sought shelter in hospitals and schools as they run out of food and water. Over a million people have fled their homes in anticipation of an Israeli ground invasion aimed at destroying Hamas. Hospitals in Gaza are on the verge of collapse and unable to evacuate patients as demanded by Israeli forces. The Gaza Health Ministry has reported that 2,670 Palestinians have been killed and 9,600 injured since the fighting began, making this the deadliest of the five Gaza wars.
RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) – The situation in the Gaza Strip continues to worsen as Palestinians seek shelter in overcrowded hospitals and schools, running low on food and water. More than a million people have been forced to flee their homes in anticipation of an Israeli ground invasion aimed at destroying Hamas. Hamas’ military infrastructure is concealed in urban areas, making street-by-street fighting a likely scenario that would result in mounting casualties on both sides. Israel has not provided a timetable for the ground incursion.
All eyes are on the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, where U.S. and international mediators are close to reaching a deal for a humanitarian cease-fire. This would allow aid to enter Gaza and foreigners to exit. However, the crossing has been shut down for nearly a week due to Israeli airstrikes.
The situation in Gaza is dire, with dwindling supplies of food, water, and medicine. Hospitals are on the verge of collapse and are unable to evacuate patients as demanded by Israel. Israeli airstrikes have demolished entire neighborhoods, but have failed to stop militant rocket fire into Israel.
The Gaza Health Ministry reports that 2,670 Palestinians have been killed and 9,600 wounded since the fighting began, making this the deadliest of the five Gaza wars for both sides. Israel reports over 1,400 Israeli deaths, mostly civilians killed in a Hamas assault. The Israeli military estimates that at least 199 hostages are being held in Gaza, including foreigners.
Israel has ordered over 1 million Palestinians to move to the southern part of Gaza, as it plans a major campaign against Hamas in the north. The military claims that Hamas has extensive networks of tunnels and rocket launchers in the north. Hamas has urged people to stay in their homes.
The situation is further exacerbated by the lack of fuel for generators and desalination stations, causing water shortages and putting thousands of patients at risk in hospitals across Gaza. The World Health Organization warns of disease outbreaks due to mass displacement and poor water and sanitation.
The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees reports that over 1 million people, half of Gaza’s population, have been displaced in a little over a week. Half of them are seeking shelter in U.N.-run schools and other facilities, while the rest are staying with family or neighbors. Water is being rationed, with each person receiving just 1 liter per day to cover all their needs.
The situation in Gaza is dire, and urgent action is needed to provide aid and bring an end to the violence..