Gaza’s situation 'getting worse by the hour' by Israeli bombings: WHO
A World Health Organization official in Gaza warned on Tuesday the situation is “getting worse by the hour” by intensified Israeli bombings in the south of the Palestinian enclave.
Israel’s bombardment of civilians is creating “an increasing humanitarian disaster," Richard Peeperkorn, WHO representative in Gaza, told reporters via video link.
"The situation is getting worse by the hour," he said. "There's intensified bombing going on all around, including here in the southern areas, Khan Younis and even in Rafah."
Peeperkorn said the humanitarian aid reaching Gaza was "way too little" and said the WHO was deeply concerned about the vulnerability of the health system in the densely populated enclave as more people move further south to escape the bombing.
"We will witness the same pattern of what happened in the north," he said, referring to an area of northern Gaza that was heavily bombed and nearly cut off from humanitarian supplies.
"That cannot happen ... I want to make this point very clear that we are looking at an increasing humanitarian disaster."
Thomas White, Director of Affairs at the U.N. Palestinian agency in Gaza, said a population of more than 600,000 had been ordered to move to escape bombardment.
"Rafah that normally has a population of 280K and already hosting around 470K IDP (internally displaced people) will not cope with a doubling of its IDP population," White wrote on social media platform X.
James Elder, spokesperson for the United Nations children's agency UNICEF, said the areas of Gaza designated as safe by Israel were nowhere near meeting basic requirements, warning an absence of sanitation and shelter have created a "perfect storm" for outbreaks of disease.
"It's a safe zone when you can guarantee the conditions of food, water, medicine and shelter," he told reporters via video link from Cairo after visiting Gaza.
"I've seen for myself these are entirely, entirely absent... These are tiny patches of barren land or they're street corners. They're sidewalks. They're half-built buildings. There is no water."
He added: "Only a ceasefire is going to save the children of Gaza right now," and called the Israeli approach to creating these zones "callous and cold".
Israel waged the bloody war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.
Since the start of the offensive, the occupying regime has killed at least 15,899 Palestinians, injured 42,000 others, and left vast swathes of Gaza in ruins.
It has also imposed a “complete siege” on the Palestinian territory, cutting off fuel, electricity, food, and water to more than two million people living there.
Source: Reuters and news agencies