250 attacks on medical staff and health facilities: Health ministry
West Bank death toll rises to 84: Palestinian Ministry of Health
At least 84 Palestinians have been killed in the occupied West Bank by “Israeli occupation forces,” according to a statement from the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah.
At least 1,400 people have been injured, the ministry added.
France and Germany stress that although Israel has a right to self-defense, it must also protect civilians
The foreign ministers of France and Germany said Saturday that although Israel has the right to self-defense, it also has a responsibility to protect the civilian population of Gaza.
In an address to leaders at the Cairo peace summit, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock emphasized that Hamas bears ultimate responsibility for the “suffering of these past weeks.”
“It was Hamas that brought horrendous terror on Israel on Oct 7 committing atrocious crimes. Like any other country in the world, Israel has the right to defend itself and to protect its people against this terror within the framework of international law,” Baerbock added.
Baerbock warned that that this “fight against Hamas must be carried out with the greatest possible consideration for the humanitarian situation for the innocent men, women, and children in Gaza.”
France’s Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna also reiterated that “Nothing justifies terrorism. Facing terrorism, Israel has the right to defend itself.”
“Israel, in its legitimate response to the terrorist attack it was victim of, must protect the civilian population in accordance with humanitarian law,” Colonna continued.
France “condemns the actions of Hamas” but continues to “support the rights of the Palestinian people like we have always done,” Colonna remarked, adding that France will soon send an additional 10 million euros ($10.6 million) in aid to Palestinians.
Civilians must be protected at all times: UNRWA’s Commissioner-General
UN aid chief says ‘chance’ more aid allowed into Gaza tomorrow
‘Full trucks on one side, empty stomachs on the other’: UN chief
At least 22 journalists killed since start of war
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 22 journalists have been killed since the start of the war on 7 October.
A statement on the organisation’s website states: “Journalists in Gaza face particularly high risks as they try to cover the conflict in the face of a ground assault by Israeli troops, devastating Israeli airstrikes, disrupted communications, and extensive power outages.”
Of the journalists killed, 18 are Palestinian and one is Lebanese, while at least eight others are wounded.
Journalists on the ground also face continued attacks, arrests, threats and censorship.
“CPJ emphasises that journalists are civilians doing important work during times of crisis and must not be targeted by warring parties,” stated Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa programme coordinator.
Hamas commander and his family killed in Israeli air raid
Shelling near Rafah kills member of Palestinian Civil Defense and injures 4 others
One member of the Palestinian Civil Defense emergency services agency was killed and another four were wounded in shelling on Saturday morning, officials from the Palestinian Authority said in a statement.
“An Israeli shelling … targeted them while they were carrying out their duties in the area of Khirbet al-Adas, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip,” the statement added.
This comes after humanitarian aid trucks entered the nearby Rafah border crossing on Saturday morning to transfer aid to authorities in Gaza.
Hamas will not discuss exchange of prisoners ‘until Israeli aggression ends’
A Hamas official, Osama Hamdan, told a televised presser that Hamas will not discuss the fate of Israeli captives until Israel ends its aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip and on Palestinians.
“Our stance with regards to Israeli army captives is clear: it’s related to a (possible) exchange of prisoners, and we will not discuss it until Israel ends its aggression on Gaza and Palestinians,” he said.
Only 3 percent of medical aid entered Gaza today: Ministry
Israel says preparing for ‘next phase of war’
UN manages to drive enough water for 22,000 people for one day through Rafah crossing into Gaza
The UN children’s agency UNICEF says it managed to drive enough water supplies for 22,000 people for one day through the Rafah crossing into Gaza on Saturday.
“Over 44,000 bottles of drinking water supplied by UNICEF – just enough for 22,000 people for 1 day – were driven through the Rafah Crossing today as part of a 20-truck convoy with the Egyptian Red Crescent, the World Health Organization and the World Food Programme,” the UNICEF statement read.
According to UNICEF’s Executive Director Catherine Russell, the delivery of water is a “matter of life and death” for the 1 million children in Gaza “facing a critical protection and humanitarian crisis.”
“This first, limited water will save lives, but the needs are immediate and immense – not just for water, but for food, fuel, medicine, and essential goods and services. Unless we can provide humanitarian supplies consistently, we face the real threat of life-threatening disease outbreaks,” Russell added.
The nearly two-week-long conflict has wrought severe damage on Gaza’s water and sanitation systems with water production capacity currently at 5% of normal levels, UNICEF said.
“The nearly 2.3 million residents in Gaza are now surviving on 3 litres of water per person per day,” UNICEF added.
The agency issued an urgent call for all access crossings into Gaza to be opened to allow the wider delivery of humanitarian aid alongside the movement of aid workers and urgent medical cases in Gaza who require critical medical care.
Children in particular must be “unconditionally” protected from harm, Russell said, highlighting once again the need for humanitarian agencies such as UNICEF to be able to “safely and predictably deliver assistance to children and families in Gaza who are in desperate need.”
The Rafah crossing was briefly opened on Saturday morning to allow the first convoy of aid trucks to enter the besieged Gaza Strip.
Humanitarian aid had been stuck in Egypt for days with Gaza plunged into a worsening crisis.
World Food Programme says situation in Gaza is “catastrophic” and calls for more aid to be let through
The World Food Programme (WFP) says aid deliveries to Gaza must not stop, after the first delivery of aid was allowed into the besieged strip on Saturday morning.
A convoy of 20 trucks passed through the Rafah crossing to deliver humanitarian aid to the coastal enclave where a crisis is escalating rapidly.
WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain told CNN’s Isa Soares that starvation is “rampant” in Gaza, adding that the organization needs to continue sending more trucks into the impoverished territory to “get to the millions of people who are literally going to starve to death.”
The situation in Gaza is “catastrophic” due to the lack of food, water, electricity, and fuel. “It’s like a perfect storm of the humanitarian disaster,” she continued.
“This cannot be the last convoy,” added McCain, “there are too many lives at stake.”
“Needs are far higher” after supplies move across Rafah border: WHO
On Saturday morning, the Rafah border crossing was opened for a short window to let 20 aid trucks cross into the Gaza Strip from Egypt. While many have welcomed the brief reopening, rights groups stress that more aid is desperately needed within the besieged enclave.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was one of those who warned Saturday that “needs are far higher.”
Tedros in a post on social media said that in order “to meet the urgent health needs of all people in Gaza,” the WHO was calling for safe passage of additional aid convoys across the enclave, protection of all humanitarian workers and a sustained access for health aid.
According to the WHO, the supplies include “trauma medicines and supplies for 1200 people and portable trauma bags for on-the-spot stabilization of up to 235 injured people.”
“They also include chronic diseases medicines and treatments for 1500 people and basic essential medicines and health supplies for 300,000 people for three months,” noted the WHO.
The organization announced it was working with the Egyptian and Palestine Red Crescent societies to ensure the safe passage of the supplies and their delivery to hospitals and health facilities, adding that hospitals inside Gaza have already reached “breaking point” due to shortages.
Palestinian Red Crescent says relief workers will risk lives to move aid across Gaza
Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) volunteers are making their way into Gaza to deliver the first convoy to a UNRWA storage facility in Deir el-Balah, for which the Israeli army has the coordinates.
PRCS director Marwan Jilani told Al Jazeera the challenge would then be to deliver the aid to the central and northern parts of the Strip that have been affected the most by the bombardment.
“This is a risky business,” Jilani said, adding, “Our colleagues will risk their lives to get the supplies where they are needed the most.”
Israel has not agreed to a ceasefire despite 20 trucks being allowed to cross from the Rafah border in Egypt.
Jilani stated it was Israel’s duty as an occupying power to guarantee the safety of civilians and that it should allow aid to be delivered through other crossing points on its territory.
Palestinian health ministry concerned over exclusion of fuel from aid
Palestinian death toll update: Nearly 4,500 killed, 15,400 wounded
The Israeli military has killed nearly 4,500 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank since the conflict started on 7 October, according to the latest tally.
More than 70 percent of those killed are children, women and elderly people.
- Killed: More than 4,385 (1,756 children, 1,000+ women)
- Wounded: 13,561
West Bank and East Jerusalem
- Killed: 84 (30 children, one woman)
- Wounded: 1,400+
‘We will remain on our land’: Palestinian president
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has told the international conference in Cairo that Palestinians will not accept to be transferred outside the Gaza Strip, despite relentless bombardment from the Israeli army.
“We will never accept relocation, we will remain on our land whatever the challenges,” Abbas said before calling for sustained aid to be allowed into the besieged enclave.
“We also oppose the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in the West Bank and Jerusalem,” he added.
Abbas stated the summit in Cairo is being held as Israeli forces “violate every possible humanitarian law” by targeting civilians through the aerial bombardment of hospitals, schools and shelters.
“We have asked from day one for a halt to this brutal aggression and the opening of humanitarian corridors,” the Palestinian president said.
“We renew our rejection of the killing of civilians on both sides and call for the release of civilians that are held captive,” he added.
“We are against violence and are for adopting all the peaceful and legal avenues to achieve out national goals,” he continued.
Egyptian president accuses West of double standards
“We meet today in Cairo in a very difficult situation that examines our humanity and the beliefs we claim to hold,” President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi told the Cairo Peace Summit.
“Where are the values of the humanitarian civilisation that we have built along the years and centuries? Where is the equality between the innocent people without double standard?”
“Egypt condemns clearly and openly the targeting and killing of peaceful civilians,” el-Sisi said, adding that he was “astonished” at the fact that the world could stand back and watch a humanitarian catastrophe that amounts to collective punishment unfold in the Gaza Strip.
He noted that Cairo opposed the relocation of Gaza residents to Sinai as that would spell an end to the Palestinian dream of statehood.
UN chief calls for commitment to more aid to Gaza
“I was at the Rafah border yesterday and I saw a paradox there,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Cairo conference on Saturday.
“Food trucks on one side, and empty stomachs on the other.”
Twenty trucks have begun rolling into the Gaza Strip, but Guterres said “much, much more” was needed.
The UN chief called for a renewed commitment to bringing humanitarian aid into the strip to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.
“Trucks need to move as quickly as possible in a massive, sustained and safe way from Egypt into Gaza,” he continued, adding, “We are working non-stop with all relevant parties to make it happen.”
UN welcomes Rafah crossing opening to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza
The United Nations welcomed the opening of the Rafah crossing, allowing humanitarian aid to reach Gaza for the first time since the Israel-Hamas war began.
According to UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths, the “20-truck convoy includes life-saving supplies provided by the Egyptian Red Crescent and the United Nations which are approved to cross and be received by the Palestinian Red Crescent, with the support of the United Nations.”
Griffiths said the aid delivery followed “days of deep and intense negotiations,” adding that the humanitarian situation in Gaza “has reached catastrophic levels.”
“I am confident that this delivery will be the start of a sustainable effort to provide essential supplies – including food, water, medicine and fuel – to the people of Gaza, in a safe, dependable, unconditional and unimpeded manner,” the UN relief chief stated.
“The people of Gaza have endured decades of suffering. The international community cannot continue to fail them,” he added.
Israel’s military says 210 people are being held hostage in Gaza
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in an update that it now believes 210 people are being held hostage in Gaza, the military’s spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told journalists at a briefing on Saturday.
The news comes a day after two American hostages – Judith Tai Raanan and her 17-year-old daughter, Natalie Raanan – were released by Hamas, nearly two weeks after its deadly attack on Israel.
Following their release, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Tel Aviv would continue working to return all hostages.
“Two of our hostages are home. We will not ease the effort to bring back all abductees and those missing. Simultaneously, we keep fighting until a victory is reached,” Netanyahu said in a statement posted to social media on Friday.
Palestinians say ‘limited’ aid entering Gaza not enough
Palestinian officials in Gaza have said the “first limited convoy of basic needs” that has entered the besieged strip through Egypt was not enough and stressed that a humanitarian corridor must remain open permanently to allow the entry of more supplies and the exit of wounded people needing treatment abroad.
Salama Marouf, the head of the Gaza-based government media office, said in a statement the aid trucks about to enter on Saturday morning would not be able to “change the humanitarian catastrophe that the Gaza Strip is experiencing”.
Marouf added in his statement that the UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees that is set to receive the aid, should distribute it across the Gaza Strip. His call comes amid some reports the entry of aid was conditioned on distributing it only in southern Gaza.
The Palestinian government media office has also announced a total of 20 trucks are entering Gaza with a limited supply of medicines, medical supplies and a small amount of food (canned goods).
The Gaza-based office warned that the aid convoy – the first to be allowed entry into Gaza in two weeks – was not enough to “change the humanitarian catastrophe that the Gaza Strip is experiencing”.
First humanitarian aid trucks enter Gaza
The first convoy of aid trucks have entered besieged Gaza on Saturday.
The Rafah crossing closed soon after 20 trucks went through.
US embassy in Israel says it has received information that Rafah crossing will open at 10 a.m. local time
The US embassy in Israel announced it has received information that the Rafah crossing will open at 10 a.m. local time (3 a.m. ET) on Saturday.
“If the border is opened, we do not know how long it will remain open for foreign citizens to depart Gaza,” the embassy said.
“We anticipate that many people would attempt to cross should the border open.”
“US citizens attempting to enter Egypt should expect a potentially chaotic and disorderly environment on both sides of the crossing,” the embassy noted.
The embassy added that the situation remains “dynamic and fluid,” and the security environment is “unpredictable,” advising people to “assess your personal safety and security before choosing to move toward the border or trying to cross.”
Humanitarian aid has been stuck in Egypt for days as Gaza plunges into a worsening humanitarian crisis.
Gaza is fast running out of food, water, fuel and medical supplies – all while being pounded by relentless airstrikes.
The electricity blackout and ban on fuel imports have had “devastating consequences” on the healthcare system and access to clean water, warned the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Saturday.
It added that about 1.4 million people had been displaced in Gaza – more than 60% of the entire strip’s population of 2 million.
According to a statement from Hamas’s media office, “The relief aid convoy that is supposed to enter today includes 20 trucks that carry medicine, medical supplies, and a limited amount of food supplies (canned goods).”
UNRWA says 17 staff killed since start of war
The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has said at least 17 of its staff had been killed in the war, warning that the death toll would likely rise.
“To date, 17 of our colleagues have been confirmed killed in this vicious war. Very sadly, the actual numbers are likely to be higher,” UNRWA added in a statement.
WFP chief says aid for 500,000 people waiting for green light at Rafah border
The executive director of the World Food Programme has called for “reliable and sustained access” to be granted to humanitarian actors on the ground, amid talks of a potential reopening of Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt at 10 a.m. local time (07:00 GMT).
“This conflict is having a horrific impact on civilians, food will run out within a matter of days and water, medicines and other supplies are dangerously low,” Cindy McCain said in a video posted on X.
“Our trucks are loaded and waiting with food for half a million people, but we cannot access Gaza right now,” she stated, adding, “Humanitarians need to be able to get the aid in and they must be able to distribute it.”
McCain said failure to do so meant the “world will watch while the people of Gaza starve.”
Over half a million sheltering in Gaza UN shelters are in “increasingly dire conditions”
About 1.4 million people have been displaced in Gaza, and more than 544,000 are sheltering in 147 UN-designated emergency shelters that are in “increasingly dire conditions,” according to a statement Saturday by the United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The number of the displaced constitutes more than 60% of Gaza’s population of about 2 million people.
OCHA stressed that the electricity blackout and ban on fuel imports into the strip have “devastating consequences” on the health care system and access to clean water.
“Increasing water consumption from unsafe sources elevates the threat of infectious disease outbreaks,” OCHA added.
In a statement earlier on Friday, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) also warned of the dire conditions in the strip and said that 16 of UNRWA’s staff have lost their lives over the last 12 days.
US President Joe Biden told reporters at the White House Friday that trucks carrying much-needed humanitarian aid should enter Gaza “within the next 24-48 hours.”
Gaza’s Al-Quds Hospital received 3 evacuation orders on Friday: Palestinian Red Crescent
The Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza received three evacuation orders on Friday, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
Earlier on Friday, the hospital’s administration announced the Israeli army had contacted them, demanding the immediate evacuation of the hospital in preparation for a nighttime airstrike.
The Israel Defense Forces called the Palestinian Red Crescent three times between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. local time on Friday, its director general, Marwan Jilani, told CNN on Friday.
“It was the same threat, it was ‘evacuate immediately,'” Jilani added.
Jilani stated the hospital had received evacuation orders in the past, but emphasized the ones on Friday seemed “really serious.”
Al-Quds Hospital currently houses more than 400 patients and approximately 12,000 displaced civilians who have sought refuge there as a safe haven, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
Netanyahu says Israel will continue working to return all hostages
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Israel will continue working to return all hostages following the release of two American hostages who were held by Hamas Friday.
“Two of our hostages are home. We will not ease the effort to bring back all abductees and those missing. Simultaneously, we keep fighting until a victory is reached,” Netanyahu said in a statement posted to social media on Friday.
Gaza hospital blast analysis casts doubt on Israeli narrative: Forensic Architecture
The UK-based research group says a preliminary analysis of the blast at the al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza has cast “significant doubt” on the version of events presented by the Israeli army.
Forensic Architecture said its 3D analysis of radial fragmentation did not match Israel’s claim that a misfired Palestinian rocket travelling west to east could have hit the medical compound.
“Fragmentation patterns may indicate the projectile came from the northeast—the direction of the Israeli-controlled side of the Gaza perimeter—and not from the west,” it wrote on X.
Media outlets including Channel 4 and Al Jazeera’s Sanad verification team have also investigated the incident and found that Israeli statements seem to have misinterpreted the evidence to build a story that one of the flashes recorded by several sources was a rocket misfire.
Hamas says they are working with mediators to release foreign national hostages
Hamas issued a statement shortly after the release of two American hostages Friday, saying they are working with mediators in Egypt, Qatar and other “friendly countries”
“This commitment remains resolute as we endeavor to enact our decision to release individuals of foreign nationalities under temporary custody, as and when security circumstances permit,” the statement added.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Daniel Hagari has announced Friday that the two released American hostages, Judith and Natalie Rannan, are now in the care of the IDF.
IDF will continue fight against Hamas and is preparing for next stages: Spokesperson
The Israel Defense Forces are preparing for the “next stages” in the fight against Hamas as the conflict continues, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari stated Friday.
“The top priority of the country is to return all the abductees and locating the missing, in all possible ways: civil, intelligence and military,” Hagari said during a news conference in Tel Aviv.
“At the same time, we are continuing the war against the Hamas. And getting ready for the next stages of the war. As we speak, the crossings are closed and no equipment (aid) is getting into the (Gaza) Strip,” he continued.
Hagari’s response came after he was asked a question about further negotiations on the release of hostages, noting the IDF is making a “great effort and prioritizing the return of all the hostages.”
Palestinian prime minister criticizes Israel for telling over 1 million in northern Gaza to evacuate
Israel telling more than a million Palestinians to evacuate out of Gaza was “designed to end the question of the Palestinian right to return of the Palestinian refugees,” Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told CNN’s Becky Anderson.
“If that is going to happen in Egypt, then who will prevent the Israelis from pushing us here in the West Bank to be forcefully transferred to Jordan? And that is where the issue of transfer is such a concern because it is a national security issue for Egypt. It’s a national security issue for Jordan, but it is an existential issue for us the Palestinians,” Shtayyeh said in a sit-down interview with CNN in Ramallah on Friday.
Last week, Israel’s military told 1.1 million people in northern Gaza to evacuate their homes immediately, as it appeared to prepare to ramp up fighting against Hamas — which the United Nations and several humanitarian groups sharply criticized.
When asked if there was a possibility that the Palestinian Authority (PA) might take over governing Gaza if Israel succeeds in destroying Hamas, Shtayyeh stated: “We will not go to Gaza on an Israeli tank,” meaning they did not want Israel’s war on Hamas to be the PA’s path to leadership in Gaza.
Shtayyeh also added there needs to be a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue in both Gaza and the West Bank, and that a piecemeal approach would not work.
“A solution for Gaza is not going to take us anywhere. A solution in the West Bank alone is not going to take us anywhere,” he said.
“So what we want is a comprehensive solution that ends occupation.”
“We’re not looking for improving life conditions under occupation,” Shtayyeh continued, adding, “We are looking for a sovereign, independent, contiguous, viable state of Palestine on the borders of 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital, including the rest of the Palestinian territory in the West Bank.”
More Americans are still being held by Hamas: US official
A US official confirms that there are more American hostages still being held by Hamas, following the release of two Americans Friday.
President Joe Biden said in a statement Friday that the US has “not ceased our efforts to secure the release of those who are still being held”. That, the official said, was indeed a reference to the fact that there are additional American hostages.
US officials have never given a firm number of American hostages – only that they believe there are a “handful.”
Lebanon calls on Israel to declare a 48-hour ceasefire: FM
Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib asked Israel to declare a 48-hour ceasefire, telling CNN “then we will know exactly who is starting what.”
Habib told CNN’s Poppy Harlow Friday that his country is very worried that the war could spread into the region.
“Really we don’t want war. The government does not want war. We are dialoguing with the various groups. But it is uncontrollable because it depends all on what happened in Gaza,” Bou Habib said.
While Israel prepares for the next stage of the war with Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah has been exchanging fire with Israeli forces across the border in northern Israel and southern Lebanon.
Earlier on Friday, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner told CNN, “The government of Lebanon, anything that happens from their sovereign territory, they need to — they are responsible for, and they will be held accountable for. This is a sovereign state. It has control over its borders. They have the responsibility to make sure that terrorists like Hezbollah, a terrorist army, do not launch attacks against Israel.”
In response to Lerner’s comments, Bou Habib said Israel is “making it worse by their talk.”
“Let’s call for a ceasefire and see what happens. Instead of threatening,” he added.
When Harlow asked Habib if his government has control over Hezbollah, he said, “The people are interrelated here, politically and even blood-wise. So, we cannot hold them from doing some revenge if really the situation in Gaza is going to be worse than what it is now.”
“They (Hezbollah) do not want a war. But I mean, you can’t control it. It all depends, again, on what happens in Gaza, on the invasion of Israel to Gaza,” he added.
Number of French citizens killed in Hamas attacks rises to 30
At least 30 French citizens have been killed following the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7, the French foreign ministry said Friday.
Seven French citizens are still missing, according to the ministry, which announced that “some” of these people are hostages in Gaza without providing further details.
“We are doing everything we can to secure their release,” the ministry added.
About 100,000 civilians have been evacuated from their homes: Israel
About 100,000 civilians have been evacuated from their homes so far in northern and southern Israel, according to the Israeli Ministry of Defense.
These evacuations include short-term leave, the ministry said, but it did not specify a time frame.
The evacuation of the city of Kiryat Shmona — which is not mandatory — is not included in that number, but would bump up the total number of evacuations to around 123,000 civilians, the ministry added.
7 Gaza hospitals are “out of service”: Palestinian Ministry of Health
Seven hospitals and 21 primary care health centers in Gaza are “out of service,” and 64 medical staff have been killed as Israel continues its airstrikes, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Ministry of Health said Friday.
“Due to the Israeli violations, seven hospitals are out of service and 21 Primary Health care centers as well. 64 medical staff were killed and 23 ambulances were destroyed,” stated the health ministry spokesperson Dr. Ashraf Al-Qidra.
On Thursday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs announced in a statement that more than 60% of primary care facilities are shut down, and hospitals in Gaza are on the brink of collapse due to the shortage of power, medicine, equipment and specialized personnel.
UN human rights group calls for “rapid and unimpeded passage” of humanitarian aid for all civilians
The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in a statement Friday implored all parties “to allow the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for all civilians in need, wherever they are.”
A spokesperson for the human rights group expressed concern about continuing Israeli strikes across Gaza, including in the south.
“Strikes, coupled with extremely difficult living conditions in the south, appear to have pushed some to return to the north, despite the continuing heavy bombing there,” the statement said.
It also expressed concern about the rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel and the alarm at the “rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied West Bank and the increase in unlawful use of lethal force.”
Citing reports of ill-treatment and lack of due process, it called for the end of “arbitrary arrests of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Arab Israelis in Israel.”
Shortages in Gaza “are going to kill many, many people: Head of Doctors Without Borders
Utility shortages in Gaza “are going to kill many, many people,” said Avril Benoît, executive director of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) also known as Doctors Without Borders.
Benoît told CNN that it often loses contact with its team in the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza due to lack of electricity, inability to charge phones and cell signal often being cut out, making it “difficult to get real-time information.”
“What we do know is our medical coordinator was warning that the fuel was reaching catastrophic lows,” she said.
Benoît added that there is a lack of painkillers, something which she said has “been going on for quite a time.”
“There’s a real shortage of anesthesia. And again, those surgical teams are going to have to ration. They are going to have to choose who gets it and who doesn’t, who gets the lifesaving surgery, who doesn’t,” she continued.
People in Gaza are “exhausted, including the medical teams who have been working around the clock,” Benoît said.
“Everyone is dehydrated, malnourished, hungry,” she stated, noting, “It’s really a difficult circumstance in which to be able to even focus on a mass casualty response that’s needed.”
“It’s absolutely life or death at this point. Hour by hour it’s essential for that humanitarian assistance to be brought in,” Benoît continued, adding, “We are deeply concerned for the fate of everyone who happens to be in Gaza right now, where nowhere is safe.”