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MSF says words cannot describe ‘catastrophic’ disaster in Gaza

March 18, 2024 at 8:54 am

Relatives of Palestinians who lost their lives after Israeli attacks mourn at Al-Shifa Hospital, in Gaza City, Gaza on March 15, 2024. [Dawoud Abo Alkas – Anadolu Agency]

In a rare moment of contact between the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and a member of its staff in northern Gaza, nurse Loay Harb has described the situation in the Gaza Strip as catastrophic. “Words can’t describe it,” he told his MSF colleagues.

Harb noted that he is providing medical assistance in light of a significant shortfall in food and difficult conditions experienced by the besieged population, said MSF in a post on X

The international NGO stressed that it is rarely able to contact its staff members in Gaza.

Israel restricts the entry of aid into the besieged Gaza Strip, especially the north of the enclave. This has led to serious scarcity of food, fresh water, medicine and fuel supplies and created famine conditions. At least 27 people, including children and the elderly, have died as a result of malnutrition in the Gaza Strip, where 2.3 million Palestinians live, two million of whom have been internally displaced as a result of Israel’s deadly military offensive.

The occupation state has waged its offensive on Gaza since a cross-border incursion led by the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, on 7 October in which nearly 1,200 people were killed, many of them at the hands of the Israel Defence Forces. More than 31,600 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have since been killed in Gaza, and nearly 73,700 others have been wounded amid mass destruction.

The Israeli offensive has displaced 85 per cent of Gaza’s population amid a crippling blockade of most food, clean water, fuel supplies and medicine. The UN estimates that 60 per cent of the civilian infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed by Israel.

The apartheid state stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling by the ICJ in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza. According to the South African government, which lodged the case with the court, Israel is not complying with that order.

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