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At least 3,000 unexploded bombs in Gaza in first 3 months of war

March 26, 2024 at 9:49 am

Smoke rises over the residential areas following the Israeli attacks as Israel’s air, land and sea attacks continue on the Gaza Strip on March 24, 2024 in Gaza City, Gaza. [Dawoud Abo Alkas – Anadolu Agency]

At least 3,000 of the 45,000 Israeli bombs dropped on the Gaza Strip between 7 October and mid-January have failed to explode, according to estimates by Handicap International, an NGO specialising in mine action.

“Of these 45,000 bombs, 3,000 have not exploded, and it is in fact these that will cause additional danger, particularly for civilians, when humanitarian aid is deployed,” said Jean-Pierre Delomier on Radio France Internationale.

This number, estimated by the Mine Action Area of Responsibility, a working group composed of non-governmental organisations active in the area, including Handicap International, covers the period between 7 October and mid-January. Israel has continued to bomb Gaza since then.

Delomier spent several days in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah, on the Egyptian border, where about 1.5 million Palestinians reside, most of whom are displaced.

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He considered in particular that only a ceasefire would be enough to give more “visibility” to rights groups to “begin the work of clearing mines and explosive remnants of war contamination”.

At the beginning of March, the French-based organisation defending people with conflict-related disabilities sent two experts for 15 days to begin assessing demining needs in the Gaza Strip.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians are thought to have been left disabled by Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza. In December, UNICEF estimated that 1,000 children had had limbs amputated without anaesthesia in Gaza.

Handicap International physiotherapist Maria Marelli warned last week: “There will be a significant increase in the number of people with disabilities in Gaza. That is sure. Even a seemingly minor injury or fracture, if improperly treated or if it gets infected, which is highly possible given the terrible hygiene conditions, could lead to complications and lifelong disabilities.

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