UN aid agencies make joint call for ceasefire as Gaza death toll tops 10,000

UN aid agencies make joint call for ceasefire as Gaza death toll tops 10,000

Gaza (Web Desk): More than 10,000 Palestinians have been martyred in just one month of Israel-Palestine war as Israeli bombardment across Gaza continues, with at least 16 people killed overnight in an attack on Rafah.

 According to Palestinian Health Ministry, at least 10,177 Palestinians have been martyred including over 4,100 children and 2,641 women while at least 25,408 have been injured so far including at least 8,067 children and 4,891 women. At least 1270 children among 2,660 are still missing.

Meanwhile, in Occupied West Bank at least 155 Palestinians including 42 children have been martyred with more than 2,100 injured.  

With the deepening Israel-Palestine war about to enter its second month, a dozen of UN agencies have issued an urgent appeals for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to allow more lifesaving aid into Gaza, the enclave which is under relentless Israeli attacks.

“Enough is enough,” said UN relief chief Martin Griffiths, who was among those uniting behind the ceasefire appeal.

 “Civilians and the infrastructure they rely on – including hospitals, shelters and schools – must be protected,” they said.

In their joint statement, the humanitarian leaders called the killings of large numbers of civilians in Gaza an “outrage”. So too was the fact that the Strip’s 2.2 million residents continue to be cut off from food, water, medicine, electricity and fuel.

Shortly after the statement’s release, the Palestinian Health Ministry said the death toll in the occupied territory had surpassed 10,000 after just a month of Israeli bombing. “Children make up roughly 40% of the death toll.”

OCHA reported that in Gaza people are braving airstrikes to line up outside bakeries in the hope of buying bread, while power sources continue to dwindle.

Multiple solar panels on the roofs of buildings, particularly in Gaza City, have reportedly been destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in the past few days, OCHA said. “This has eliminated one of the remaining sources of energy for hospitals and water and food production as fuel continues to be banned from entering the Strip by the Israeli authorities. 

As of Sunday evening, OCHA reported that “in the past 24 hours, strikes continued in the close vicinity of hospitals, including the Indonesian Hospital (Beit Lahiya) and the Al Quds Hospital in Tal Al Hawa (Gaza City)” resulting in injuries and damage, while the Israeli military claimed that “members of armed groups have been shooting from those areas”. 

UN chief António Guterres said on Friday that he was “horrified” by a reported attack in Gaza on an ambulance convoy outside Al-Shifa hospital en route to the Rafah border crossing, where medical evacuations of injured patients to Egypt had started last week.

While 14 out of 35 hospitals in Gaza have stopped functioning, more than 23,000 people have been injured in Gaza since October 7 and require treatment.

OCHA said that Friday’s attack on the ambulance convoy was followed by a complete halt in the exit of dual nationals and wounded people through Rafah.

No further evacuations were reported from Gaza over the weekend, OCHA said, owing “to the failure of Hamas, Israel and Egypt to reach an agreement regarding the safe evacuation of patients from northern Gaza”.

Massive displacement prompted by an Israeli Defence Forces’ order to Gazans to leave Gaza City and the north of the enclave on October 13 has aggravated the already fragile health situation in Gaza. 

Over 700,000 of the 1.5 million internally displaced people across the Strip are sheltering in 149 facilities run by the UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA), which are severely overcrowded.