The humanitarian situation in Gaza has reached alarming levels as Israeli forces intensify their operations in the Palestinian enclave, causing widespread destruction and suffering.
Intense Conflict and Severe Hunger
The Israeli military has been active in the southern city of Khan Younis since Tuesday, engaging in fierce battles with Hamas fighters.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) paints a grim picture of the situation, stating the conflict has led to "unimaginable loss, destruction, and misery," with hunger becoming a pervasive issue. "Everyone in Gaza is hungry," the WFP reports, indicating the severity of the crisis.
Further exacerbating the situation, Israel's security cabinet approved only a "minimal" increase in fuel supply to Gaza this Wednesday, despite calls from global leaders and aid groups for significant assistance to the enclave.
A Dire Situation for Civilians
The WFP highlights the extreme conditions faced by Gaza's residents: in northern Gaza, 97% of households suffer from inadequate food consumption, and about 83% in southern Gaza are resorting to extreme measures for survival.
The scarcity of basic necessities is stark, with many households using waste or wood rubbish for cooking and having access to less than half a gallon of safe drinking water per person per day. Emergency services are also severely impacted.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reports that their ambulance operations in northern Gaza have ceased due to fuel shortages. Efforts to recover bodies from the streets and under rubble are hampered by these limitations.
Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders reports a surge in the number of corpses arriving at central Gaza's Al-Aqsa Hospital, surpassing the number of injured.
International Responses and Crossings
On Thursday, at least 634 people, including over 400 dual nationals, crossed into Egypt through the Rafah border crossing.
Additionally, 70 aid trucks entered Gaza, bringing nearly 21,000 gallons of fuel. Israel is expected to open the Kerem Shalom border crossing for aid inspection, a move long advocated by the UN for facilitating vital humanitarian aid.
Concerns Over Journalist Casualties and Rising Death Toll
Investigations by news organizations and human rights groups have brought to light the death of Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah and the injury of six other journalists in southern Lebanon in October, reportedly due to Israeli tank shells.
Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy stated he was "not familiar" with these reports but reaffirmed Israel's stance of targeting only Hamas, not civilians. The death toll in Gaza continues to rise, with the Hamas-controlled health ministry reporting at least 17,177 Palestinians killed since October 7, including a significant number of children, women, and elderly. The injury count has reached around 46,000, adding to the urgency of the humanitarian crisis.