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‘We’re out of body bags’: Aid for victims in Gaza ‘on the verge of collapse’, says UNRWA chief

The principle UN presence within the Gaza Strip, the company for Palestinian refugees, has issued a warning that it’s in peril of collapsing and is even out of physique luggage as a result of ongoing preventing between Israel and the Hamas terrorists.

Gaza is operating out of water and electrical energy as I converse with you. In line with Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner-general of the United Nations Aid and Works Company for Palestine Refugees within the Close to East (UNRWA), the Gaza Strip is definitely being strangled and it seems that humanity has been misplaced within the globe presently.

Gaza is now even operating out of physique luggage. Complete households are being ripped aside,” he mentioned.

Addressing a press convention at UNRWA headquarters in East Jerusalem, Lazzarini mentioned his colleagues in Gaza are now not in a position to present humanitarian help.

“The number of people seeking shelter in our schools and other UNRWA facilities in the South is absolutely overwhelming, and we do not have any more the capacity to deal with them. In fact, an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding under our eyes,” he mentioned.

The UNRWA operations is the most important United Nations footprint within the Gaza Strip, and we’re on the breaking point. That is completely unprecedented, Lazzarini mentioned.

Israeli troopers have amassed close to Gaza forward of an anticipated floor offensive focusing on Hamas militants, who launched an unprecedented assault on Israel on October 7.

Israel has advised 1.1 million Palestinians dwelling within the north of Gaza to maneuver south forward of the attainable floor operations.

Detailing the plight and hardships in UNRWA colleges and buildings, Lazzarini mentioned sanitary situations are simply appalling.

Now we have stories in our logistics base, for instance, the place a whole bunch of individuals are simply sharing one rest room. Except we carry provides into Gaza, UNRWA and assist staff won’t be able to proceed humanitarian operations.

The UN Workplace for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) mentioned on Sunday that for the fifth consecutive day, Gaza has been beneath a full electrical energy blackout, following Israel’s halt of its electrical energy and gasoline provide to the strip on October 7, which in flip triggered the shutdown of Gaza’s sole energy plant.

Important service infrastructure is at present operational through backup mills.

Gas reserves at hospitals aren’t anticipated to last more than 24 hours and the shutdown of backup mills would place the lives of hundreds of sufferers at quick threat, OCHA mentioned.

The Worldwide Committee of the Purple Cross (ICRC) mentioned that hospitals in Gaza threat turning into morgues with out electrical energy.

As of October 13, as many as 144 instructional services, together with 20 UNRWA colleges, had been hit by airstrikes.

Two of the services struck by the airstrikes had been used as emergency shelters for internally displaced individuals.

As many as 165 Palestinian Authority (PA) colleges, one among which was destroyed, had been additionally hit by the strikes.

Water and sanitation services have additionally been severely broken. As of October 12, a minimum of six water wells, three water pumping stations, one water reservoir, and one desalination plant serving over 1,100,000 folks had been broken, OCHA mentioned.

Lazzarini mentioned that Gaza is operating out of water, and Gaza is operating out of life”.

“Quickly, I imagine, with this there will probably be no meals or drugs both. There’s not one drop of water, not one grain of wheat, not a litre of gasoline that has been allowed into the Gaza Strip for the final eight days, he mentioned.

As of October 14 within the afternoon hours, an estimated 600,000 individuals are displaced to the southern half of Gaza, with about 300,000 folks located in UNRWA designated emergency shelters (DES), and the remaining in public services and with host households.

Since then, this determine has elevated considerably. The variety of internally displaced individuals in Gaza Metropolis and northern Gaza can’t be decided because of insecurity and fixed motion of individuals, the UN mentioned.

Following Israel’s ultimatum on Friday that Palestinians in Gaza relocate to the strip’s south, Lazzarini mentioned his crew has relocated to Rafah to maintain operations and is working in the identical constructing as hundreds of determined displaced folks rationing additionally their meals and water.

He voiced deep concern that each hour, the company is receiving an increasing number of determined requires assist from folks throughout the Strip.

The siege in Gaza, the best way it’s imposed, is nothing else than collective punishment, he mentioned.

So, earlier than it’s too late, the siege should be lifted and assist businesses should have the ability to safely usher in important provides corresponding to gasoline, water, meals and drugs, he mentioned, including: We want this now.

UNRWA itself has already misplaced 14 workers members, together with academics, engineers, guards and psychologists, an engineer and a gynaecologist.

Most of our 13,000 UNRWA workers within the Gaza Strip at the moment are displaced or out of their houses, he mentioned.

Lazzarini shared harrowing accounts of tragedy and demise confronted by the company’s workers and floor personnel.

My colleague Kamal misplaced his cousin and her total household. My colleague Helen and her youngsters had been pulled out of the rubble. I used to be so relieved to study that they had been nonetheless alive. My colleague Inas fears that Gaza will now not exist, Lazzarini mentioned, including that each story popping out of Gaza is about survival, despair and loss.

Lazzarini described final week’s assault on Israel as horrendous and mentioned the assault and taking of hostages are a flagrant violation of worldwide humanitarian legislation.

“However the reply to killing civilians can’t be to kill extra civilians. Imposing a siege and bombarding civilian infrastructure in a densely populated space is not going to carry peace and safety to the area, Lazzarini pressured.

The conflict has develop into the deadliest of 5 Gaza wars for either side, with greater than 4,000 lifeless.

The Gaza Well being Ministry mentioned 2,670 Palestinians have been killed and 9,600 wounded.

Greater than 1,400 Israelis have been killed, and a minimum of 155 others, together with youngsters, had been captured by Hamas and brought into Gaza, in response to Israel.

(With inputs from businesses)



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