Monday, January 29, 2024

Israel-Hamas Conflict in South Gaza Leads to Increased Palestinian Displacement | TOME


Medical Facilities at Risk of Collapse in Gaza as Fighting Continues

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine has taken a toll on the healthcare system in Gaza, particularly in the southern city of Khan Younis. The Gaza Health Ministry has warned that medical facilities in the area are at risk of collapse as the fighting intensifies.

Israel’s offensive has targeted areas in Khan Younis, as well as Gaza City to the north. Israeli planes and tanks have been pounding these areas, causing widespread destruction and hindering rescue efforts. The sound of fighting can be heard in nearby towns, adding to the sense of fear and uncertainty among residents.

The Israeli military has stated that it is engaged in “intensive battles” in Khan Younis, claiming to have eliminated terrorists and discovered large quantities of weapons. However, the armed wing of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad have reported clashes with Israeli troops in several areas across the enclave. Hamas’ armed wing even claimed to have destroyed two Israeli tanks in Khan Younis.

As the violence continues, the Gaza Health Ministry has reported a significant increase in casualties. In the past 24 hours alone, 165 Palestinians have been killed and 290 wounded, bringing the total number of deaths since the war began to a staggering 26,422. It is important to note that officials in Gaza do not differentiate between militants and civilians in their count.

On the Israeli side, the military has reported losing 220 soldiers in the ground offensive and claims to have killed 9,000 Gaza fighters. However, Hamas has dismissed these figures as exaggerated.

The impact of the conflict on civilians is devastating. A strike on a house in a suburb of Gaza City resulted in the deaths of eight people, while an Israeli air strike on a multi-floor house in the Al-Nusseirat refugee camp claimed the lives of 20 Palestinians. The situation is further exacerbated by Israel naval boats opening fire on beachfront areas and intensified fighting in other parts of the enclave.

The healthcare system in Gaza is on the verge of collapse. Medical teams at the two main hospitals in Khan Younis are struggling to respond to desperate calls for help due to continuous bombing in the area. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society has reported that oxygen supplies at Al-Amal Hospital are depleted, rendering surgeries impossible.

Israel has accused Hamas of operating in densely populated areas, including around hospitals, and using civilians as human shields. The Israeli military has released photos and videos to support these allegations, which Hamas vehemently denies. However, the consequences are clear – innocent civilians are paying the price for this conflict.

As the situation worsens, more families are being displaced from Khan Younis. Some are taking dirt roads to get closer to the border with Egypt or heading north to Deir Al-Balah. Others are seeking refuge in the overcrowded area of Al-Mawasi. The fear and desperation among the displaced population are palpable, with many feeling that there is no safe place left.

The international community has been called upon to reconsider their decision to pause funding for the UN refugee agency for Palestinians. This agency plays a vital role in providing aid to Gaza, and the suspension of funding has further exacerbated the humanitarian crisis.

Ceasefire talks mediated by Egypt and Qatar have made little progress since November, with disputes between Israel and Hamas hindering any resolution. Protests in Israel demanding more action to secure the release of hostages have been spreading, highlighting the frustration and anger among the Israeli population.

As the conflict rages on, it is imperative that the international community takes immediate action to protect innocent civilians and ensure access to healthcare in Gaza. The lives of thousands of Palestinians hang in the balance, and urgent intervention is needed to prevent further loss of life and the collapse of the healthcare system.

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