Gaza death toll rises as Israel blocks humanitarian aid

Daily News Egypt
5 Min Read

The ongoing Israeli offensive on Gaza has claimed the lives of more than 29,000 Palestinians and injured over 69,000 since 7 October, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.

The ministry said on Monday that Israeli forces had carried out nine massacres in the past 24 hours, killing 107 and injuring 145. It also said that there were victims trapped under the rubble and that Israel was preventing rescue teams from reaching them.

The ministry accused Israel of obstructing the delivery of medical aid and fuel to hospitals in northern Gaza, which are running out of electricity and facing a complete shutdown within two days. It urged the international community to pressure Israel to allow humanitarian access to the besieged area.

The ministry also reported that Israel had turned Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, south of Gaza, into a military base after besieging it for days. It said that 25 of its staff and 136 patients were still inside the hospital, without water, food, oxygen, or treatment. It added that the World Health Organization (WHO) was trying to evacuate the remaining patients.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said that Israeli tanks were surrounding about 10,000 displaced people who had sought shelter in the hospital.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that the situation in Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Yunis was critical, as Israel had imposed a 28-day siege on it. It said that Israel had arrested some of its staff and that the fuel for the generator and the food supplies were dangerously low, endangering the lives of dozens of wounded and sick people and the medical staff.

Meanwhile, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, warned of a possible massacre in Rafah, south of Gaza, where about 1.5 million Palestinians had fled from the Israeli attacks.

Griffiths said in a statement: “Israeli military operations in Rafah may lead to a massacre, and may leave the already fragile humanitarian operation on the verge of collapse.”

He called for an immediate ceasefire and the release of all hostages without conditions, stressing the need for this to pave the way for a lasting solution based on international law and UN resolutions.

On the ground, the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said that they had sniped two Israeli soldiers and clashed with a group of 15 soldiers in a house west of Khan Yunis, killing and wounding them. They also said that they had fired two shells at the Israeli force.

In a related context, the European Union launched a mission to protect cargo ships in the Red Sea under the name “Operation Aspids,” as announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Deer Line said that the mission comes to ensure freedom of navigation in the Red Sea, and is a step towards a stronger European presence at sea to protect Europe’s interests. 

This comes within the framework of continued Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea in support of the Gaza Strip and demanding an end to Israeli aggression. 

Meanwhile, the military spokesperson for Ansar Allah (Houthis), Yahya Saree, said in a press conference on Monday that the movement’s forces carried out a qualitative military operation that targeted a British ship in the Gulf of Aden with several missiles. The British ship was also seriously affected, causing it to stop completely. “During the operation, we ensured that the crew of the British ship exited safely.” 

Saree added: “We shot down an American MQ9 aircraft with a suitable missile in Hodeidah while it was carrying out hostile missions. Our operations are continuing and will not stop until the end of the aggression and the lifting of the siege on Gaza. We will not hesitate to take measures against hostile targets in defence of Yemen and support of the Palestinians.”

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