Monday, March 4, 2024

90% of Gaza’s population displaced by Israeli offensive: UN

Israeli onslaughts against the besieged Gaza Strip have displaced more than 90% of the territory’s population, the UN Palestinian refugee agency has announced.

“Over 60% of the infrastructure in Gaza has been destroyed or damaged,” the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said in a statement.

“This is a staggering and unprecedented level of destruction and forced displacement, taking place in front of our eyes,” it added.

Israel has bombarded the Gaza Strip from the air and land, imposed a siege and mounted a ground offensive in retaliation for a cross-border attack by the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas, on Oct. 7.

The Israeli war on the Gaza Strip has left 26,700 people dead and missing since Oct. 7, the government media office in the enclave announced Wednesday.

“Around 20,000 dead people have been admitted to hospitals, including 8,000 children and 6,200 women,” the media office said in a statement.

The victims included 310 medics, 35 civil defense members and 97 journalists, the statement added.

The relentless Israeli raids also destroyed and damaged around 308,000 housing units across the Gaza Strip, the office said.

“At least 114 mosques were destroyed and 200 partially damaged, while four churches were targeted,” the statement added.

“The Israeli occupation also destroyed 126 government buildings and partially damaged 283 others, while 90 schools and universities were forced out of action,” it noted.

A UN spokesman on Wednesday voiced concern over the surging death toll in the Gaza Strip as fighting between Israel and Palestinian group Hamas continued for the 75th day.

“The number has been unacceptable and huge and sheer and whatever adjective you want to use for quite some time,” Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

“Again, we want to see a humanitarian cease-fire. We want to see the guns fall silent as we can reach the people of Gaza who need the most help right now,” he stated.

Dujarric, who is the spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, also stressed the importance of re-establishing a political path to a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.

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