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WHO warns of critical shortage of medicine, fuel in Gaza

May 20, 2024 at 1:58 pm

An injured Palestinian boy receives medical treatment after being taken to Kuwait Hospital following the Israeli attacks on al-Sultan neighborhood of Rafah, Gaza on May 19, 2024. [Mahmud Bassam – Anadolu Agency]

The Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Sunday that with the continued closure of the Rafah Crossing since 6 May, essential medicine and fuel supplies have become critically low in Gaza, and movement is restricted due to security constraints. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added in a post on X that recent Israeli “evacuation orders, intensified bombardment and no passage for aid across Gaza continue to put civilian lives and health at grave risk.”

The UN official also expressed deep concern about reports of “intensive hostilities near Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, with an increase in the influx of injured patients to the hospital, given its limited capacity to provide care.”

Ghebreyesus concluded by saying: “We have lost the words to describe the situation in Gaza. It is high time for a ceasefire and peace for the civilians there.”

The residents of the Gaza Strip, around two million of whom have been displaced since last October, suffer from severe shortages of food and vegetables, as a result of Israel’s continued closure of the Rafah Crossing for the thirteenth consecutive day and the Kerem Shalom crossing for the fourteenth consecutive day. This has pushed the enclave into the grip of famine, according to international humanitarian organisations.

Since 7 October, Israel has been waging a war against the Palestinians in Gaza that has left over 114,000 dead or wounded, mostly children and women, with nearly 10,000 missing amidst massive destruction. Famine has claimed the lives of children and the elderly.

Israel continues the war despite a resolution from the UN Security Council to cease hostilities, and despite the International Court of Justice urging immediate measures to prevent “genocide” and improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

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