The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip has intensified, with the death toll reaching an alarming 23,469, as reported by the Palestinian Health Ministry on Friday. In the past 24 hours, an additional 112 Palestinians lost their lives, and 194 individuals sustained injuries, contributing to the distressing statistics.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, approximately 70% of the casualties are women and children, illustrating the severe impact on civilian lives. Since the outbreak of the war on October 7, 2023, a total of 59,604 people have been wounded.
The situation in hospitals, especially in the southern Gaza Strip, is deemed extremely dire due to the overwhelming number of wounded individuals and the displacement of tens of thousands. Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qedra emphasized the urgent need for medical treatment outside Gaza, with 6,200 individuals requiring immediate attention.
The World Health Organization (WHO) disclosed that 15 out of Gaza's 36 hospitals are partially operational, facing challenges such as shortages in medical staff, essential supplies, and fuel. The nine partially operational hospitals in the south are functioning at three times their capacity, experiencing critical shortages.
Occupancy rates are reaching alarming levels, with 206% in inpatient departments and 250% in intensive care units, exacerbating the strain on an already overwhelmed healthcare system.
Ashraf al-Qedra appealed to UN institutions to urgently intervene, emphasizing the need for water, food, and shelter for the displaced population to avert a catastrophic outcome.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that between January 1-11, only 21% of planned aid deliveries proceeded to the north of Wadi Gaza. The critical situation has resulted in an estimated 1.9 million people, nearly 85% of Gaza's total population, being internally displaced as of this month, with many facing multiple displacements, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
As the conflict persists, the international community faces mounting pressure to address the escalating humanitarian crisis and provide essential support to the people of Gaza.
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