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Israel targets Red Crescent headquarters in Gaza

February 9, 2024 at 1:10 pm

Smoke rises over the city as Israeli attacks continue in Rafah, Gaza on February 07, 2024. [Abed Rahim Khatib – Anadolu Agency]

The headquarters of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in the Gaza Strip have been damaged due to incessant bombings by the Israeli army.

Major damage was caused to the society’s headquarters in the Tal Al-Hawa neighbourhood in Gaza City and the Al-Amal neighbourhood in the city of Khan Younis, eyewitnesses told Anadolu.

The Israeli army also targeted vehicles belonging to the humanitarian aid group, an Anadolu correspondent reported.

The Society’s Al-Quds Hospital in Tal Al-Hawa was also subjected to significant damage as a result of being targeted by Israeli tanks.

“The Israeli army deliberately targeted the society’s headquarters and vehicles to put them out of service,” Red Crescent spokesman Raed Al-Nims said.

“The most severe Israeli attacks against the society were those in northern Gaza, which caused a health and humanitarian crisis, especially after hospitals and medical centres went out of service there,” he added.

Nims said only one medical centre affiliated with the society is now operating in northern Gaza to provide first aid services.

He added that Israel has cut off medical, relief and food supplies to the northern Gaza Strip, which has exacerbated the humanitarian situation for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living there.

“The Israeli army is still besieging the society’s Al-Amal Hospital, west of Khan Younis, from all sides, depriving Palestinians sheltering there of food, water, medical supplies, basic needs, and oxygen.”

“The hospital houses more than 200 patients, medical and administrative staff,” the spokesman added.

On 7 February, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) reported an alarming spread of diseases due to the lack of sanitation and clean water.

Recent results of malnutrition screenings conducted by partner organisations indicate a significant increase in the overall acute malnutrition rate among children.

Overall acute malnutrition in the Gaza Strip reached 16.2 per cent, a rate that exceeds the critical threshold set by the World Health Organisation set at 15 per cent.

Despite the International Court of Justice’s provisional ruling, Israel continues its onslaught on the Gaza Strip where at least 27,947 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children, and 67,459 injured since 7 October, according to Palestinian health authorities.

The Israeli offensive has left 85 per cent of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Read: UN warns about ‘increased risk’ of malnutrition in Gaza