The Gaza Strip is sinking into the abyss of its worst humanitarian crisis, with famine that has already begun to claim lives and unprecedented levels of destruction. when, this April 7, six months of the war between Israel and Hamas have passed, with more than 33,100 dead.

“Over the past six months, the people of Gaza have endured unfathomable suffering. “Almost 2 million people have been forced to flee their homes, many of them multiple times.” said this Saturday the UN humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories, Jamie McGoldrick.

In addition to having caused the largest exodus of Palestinians since the Nakba (1948) – as the Arabs refer to the creation of the State of Israel – the war in Gaza has half of its inhabitants, more than a million people, in ” “imminent risk” of famine and child malnutrition has reached levels never seen before.

At least 31 people have died from malnutrition and dehydration in the north of the enclave since February, 27 of them minors – most of them babies – according to the UN. More than 677,000 Gazans suffer from “catastrophic” food insecurity and some 28,180 children suffer from malnutrition – one in three children under two years of age have acute malnutrition.

Since the start of the fighting on October 7, 33,137 people have died, more than 75% civilians including 14,500 children, according to data from the Strip’s Ministry of Health, controlled by Hamas.

The injured exceed 75,800 and there are also almost 8,000 bodies estimated to be trapped under 26 million tons of debris, in a territory of 2.3 million inhabitants.

According to the UN, “The situation is simply catastrophic,” said McGoldrick, although he appreciated the measures adopted yesterday by Israel to facilitate the entry of aid and the creation of a “coordination cell” between the Army’s Southern Command and humanitarian agencies to prevent incidents like last Monday, when Israeli troops “by mistake” killed seven employees of the NGO World Central Kitchen.

Following an ultimatum from the US – in a phone call on Thursday US President Joe Biden threatened Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with withdrawing his support for Israel – the War Cabinet yesterday approved an increase in the flow of aid entering the Strip, which is subject to exhaustive Israeli inspections.

Israel agreed to temporarily open the Erez crossing, which connects directly to the north where needs are greatest, to move food, water and sanitary supplies from the Israeli port of Ashdod.

In addition, the number of trucks that enter from Jordan to Israel through the Allenby crossing will be doubled, from 25 to 50, to be later introduced into the enclave; the reopening of 20 bakeries in the north of the Strip and the reactivation of the Nahal Oz water line, so that drinking water also reaches the north.

Of the seven crossings to the Strip, Israel until now only allowed passage through two: Rafah, on the border with Egypt; and Kerem Shalom, between Israel and the southern enclave; Therefore, distribution to the north was almost impossible due to the level of destruction and the few security guarantees; In addition to the slowness in the inspection process, which Israel has now committed to speed up by adding 100 more trucks per day.

“The humanitarian community is prepared to increase assistance in Gaza, but this requires better security, greater access and more reliable facilitation by the Israeli authorities,” He assured, contradicting the Israeli version that the gaps in the distribution of aid are due to the logistical inability of humanitarian agencies, especially UNRWA.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergencies Martin Griffiths was harsher, condemning the current war as “a betrayal of humanity” during six months “of mourning and torment.”

“For the people of Gaza, the last six months have brought death, devastation and now the immediate prospect of a shameful man-made famine.” he claimed.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF), one of the main humanitarian organizations working in the Strip, summarized these six months of war as “a lack of respect for medical care, massive civilian casualties, the illusion of aid and malnutrition.” . . . .

“No health system in the world can cope with the volume of injuries, types of wounds and medical conditions that we see every day in Gaza,” said Dr. Amber Alayyan, deputy director for the Middle East of MSF, who denounced the “systematic and deliberate destruction of the health system” by Israel.

Before the war there were 35 hospitals in the Strip, but “now there are potentially only 10 or 12 semi-functional centers left, but there are so many displaced people seeking refuge in them that there is not even room for patients,” he explained.

MSF, along with other NGOs working in Gaza such as Doctors of the World, Save the Children, Oxfam, World Vision and Alliance for Solidarity, have demanded a “permanent ceasefire to immediately put an end to collective punishment that has lasted six months.” “. “. “. “.


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