A From her offices in Gaza, UNRWA’s director of communications, Juliette Touma, held a press conference in which she indicated that the numbers are constantly “changing” and do not stop growing, but that her agency, with 13 thousand employees in the Strip, it is the best place to observe the high level of displacement.
“One million Palestinians have been displaced since October 7 [quando o Hamas atacou Israel] and, unfortunately, we lost 14 employees who worked with the agency in the Gaza Strip”, said Touma, adding that the teams are “terrified”.
A large proportion of internally displaced people have sought refuge with family or acquaintances further south, but at least 400,000 are housed in a hundred UNRWA centres, mainly schools, but also in food or material warehouses, which are not equipped with basic services.” to shelter human beings.”
The shelters are so overcrowded that sometimes “hundreds of people have to share a single bathroom,” he explained.
Furthermore, Touma warned of the serious shortage of goods in Gaza: “No goods have entered Gaza since the 7th (October): neither food, nor water, nor any type of aid”, he insisted.
The director of communications warned in particular about the lack of drinking water – obtained mainly through desalination plants that run on fuel and which are now stopped after the siege of Israel -, which is leading the inhabitants of Gaza to resort to sources of water unsafe for consumption, increasing the risk of disease.
“We are very concerned about the spread of waterborne diseases. Water continues to be unavailable in Gaza and we know that people are turning to dirty water sources,” he said.
The Islamist group Hamas launched a surprise attack against Israel on October 7 with the launch of thousands of rockets and the incursion of armed militiamen by land, sea and air.
In response, Israel has been bombing several Hamas infrastructures in the Gaza Strip and imposed a siege on the territory, cutting off water, fuel and electricity supplies.
The attacks have already caused thousands of deaths and injuries in both territories.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is “at war” with Hamas.
Tel Aviv has been gathering troops near the territory of the Gaza Strip, an enclave controlled by the Islamist group since 2007, in preparation for a likely offensive against Hamas.
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