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Gaza health sector has completely collapsed, confirms official

November 29, 2023 at 1:54 pm

Palestinian teenagers start a voluntary initiative to clean and restore the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Gaza on November 26, 2023 [Montaser Alsawaf/Anadolu Agency]

The health sector in the besieged Gaza Strip has completely collapsed, a local government official has confirmed. The enclave where over 2.2 million Palestinians live needs 1,000 aid trucks per day to recover from the devastation caused by the Israeli war, added Ismail Al-Thawabta, director general of the government media office.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Al-Thawabta pointed out that Al-Shifa Medical Complex alone needs 12,000 litres of fuel every day in order to function normally.

“The wheel of life has stopped, and we are facing a disaster that could happen at any moment. We appeal to the world to bring fuel into the sector,” he added. There is also a need for civil defence equipment and medical equipment to remove the rubble caused by the Israeli bombardment.

Prior to 7 October, when Israel launched its relentless bombing and land campaign, 500 trucks used to enter Gaza every day. Only after three weeks were 30 trucks of aid allowed to enter; at the moment, only 150 do so.

Al-Thawabta noted that the humanitarian truce made it possible to assess the extent of destruction caused by Israel, especially in Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip. Israel still wants to displace citizens from the area. “The Gaza Strip is facing a real catastrophe committed by the [Israeli] occupation, especially in the north,” he said.

READ: WFP warns of ‘high risk’ of famine in Gaza

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, and Israel agreed a temporary truce which came into effect last Friday and has since been extended. Women and children from both sides have been released, after Qatari mediation with support from Egypt and the US, and a limited amount of humanitarian aid has been allowed into Gaza. The extended truce is due to end tonight.

Israel launched an air and ground offensive against the Palestinians in Gaza after Hamas led an attack on Israeli army barracks and settlements in the vicinity of Gaza on 7 October. The resistance fighters crossed the nominal border into the occupation state and took around 240 hostages. Since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopter gunships and tanks of the Israel Defence Forces had in fact killed many of the 1,200 soldiers and civilians alleged by Israel to have been killed by Hamas.

The apartheid occupation state has since killed more than 15,000 Palestinians in Gaza, 6,150 of whom were children, and 4,000 of whom were women. More than 36,000 people have been wounded by the Israeli offensive, and at least 7,000 are thought to be buried under the rubble of their homes destroyed by Israeli bombs.