Gaza Medical Supplies Dwindling, Warns UN 

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The United Nations has warned of dire humanitarian conditions in Gaza, with over a million Palestinians displaced and essential supplies running out amid ongoing conflict.

UNITED NATIONS — Civilians in the Gaza Strip are being “packed into an ever-smaller area” and life-saving essentials have essentially run out, the United Nations warned on Tuesday, appealing for a humanitarian truce to allow aid access.

“It is now estimated that as many as 1 million people have fled their homes to other parts of Gaza,” senior UN aid official Joyce Msuya told a meeting convened by Arab envoys in the Hamas-controlled enclave.

Israel last week ordered some 1.1 million people in Gaza — almost half the population — to move to the south as it prepares for a ground offensive in retaliation for the worst Hamas attack on Israel in 75-year-old history.

“In reality, civilians have nowhere to go — nowhere to escape the bombs and missiles, and nowhere to find water or food, or to escape the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe,” Msuya said, urging a “humanitarian suspension of hostilities.”

International diplomacy has been focused on trying to broker a humanitarian pause in the conflict near the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza to allow the delivery of aid. Egypt says Rafah has not been officially closed but has become inoperable due to the Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza side.

“We can’t move humanitarian trucks and convoys while active bombardment continues,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday.

“There are intense discussions going on, in which we’re involved, with a number of parties in order to try to get the most basic humanitarian aid in as quickly as possible.”

Ted Chaiban, a deputy executive director at the UN children’s agency UNICEF, told the meeting on Tuesday that there was a risk of an infectious disease outbreak in Gaza as water supplies ran out.

“We have a population of 2.3 million in Gaza, essentially without drinking water. We’re down to three litres per person, when the normal average should be 15 litres,” he said. — Agencies

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Photo: Children sit in the back of an ambulance after hundreds were killed in Tuesday’s attack on a Gaza hospital — Reuters

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