The United Nations said that at least 52,000 people have been displaced due to Israeli air strikes that have destroyed or badly damaged nearly 450 buildings in the Gaza Strip.
About 47,000 of the displaced people have sought shelter in 58 UN-run schools in Gaza, Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva, told reporters.
“We have an additional influx into our schools. As I mentioned, there are 47,000 as of this morning in UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] schools. So it is climbing that number, and there are above 52,000 total IDPs [Internally Displaced Persons],” he added.
Laerke said OCHA welcomed the Israeli authorities’ opening of Kerem Shalom (Karem Abu Salem) crossing for essential humanitarian supplies.
“It is critical that Erez crossing is also opened for the entry and exit of critical humanitarian staff,” he said.
The UN spokesman said power supplies across Gaza are still limited to six to eight hours a day on average due to damage to feeder lines and networks.
“This disrupts the provision of health care and other basic services including water, hygiene, and sanitation,” said Laerke.
He said 132 buildings had been destroyed and 316 had been severely damaged, including six hospitals and nine primary healthcare centres as well as a desalination plant, affecting access to drinking water for about 250,000 people. One hospital has been left unable to function due to a lack of fuel.