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Oxfam warns that Gaza is on the brink of a major health crisis

International aid agency, Oxfam, said that the Gaza Strip is on the brink of a major health crisis due to the aftermath of the devastating effects of the Israeli war on the health and environmental sectors.

In a press release from Oxfam received by the Anadolu agency, they reported that Israeli shelling has caused the destruction of dozens of wells, pipelines, reservoirs and the pollution of fresh water due to sewage contamination.

They estimate that 15,000 tons of solid waste is rotting on the streets, wastewater pumping stations are on the verge of running out of fuel and many neighbourhoods have been without power for days, due to Israel’s bombing of the only power plant in Gaza.

Oxfam said it was working in an environment that has a completely destroyed water infrastructure that prevents people in Gaza from cooking, flushing toilets, or washing hands, emphasising that the huge risk to public health.

“Gaza’s infrastructure will take months or years to fully recover,” the head of Oxfam in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel reported.

He continued, “Public health conditions in Gaza are getting worse by the hour, and with water running out the threat of disease is spreading fast. The ceasefire alone will not be enough to end Gaza’s suffering; the blockade of Gaza must also end if there is to be real recovery and lasting peace for both Israelis and Palestinians.”

On Tuesday morning, the Israeli army announced the withdrawal of its ground forces to “lines of defence” outside the Gaza Strip, after a period of calm of 72 hours was agreed between Palestinian factions and Israel under the auspices of Egypt beginning 05:00 GMT yesterday.

The Israeli army launched an offensive against the Gaza Strip on July 7 claiming they were acting to stop rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip. Dubbed “Operation Protective Edge”, it has caused the deaths of nearly 1875 people and the injury of more than 9000 others according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

According to official Israeli sources, 64 Israeli soldiers and three civilians have been killed, and 1008 have been wounded, 651 from the military and 357 civilians. Meanwhile the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, have said they have killed 161 Israeli officers and captured one.

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