Humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens as Israel prepares a possible invasion

By | October 12, 2023

The New York Times reports:

Six days of Israeli airstrikes have left more than 300,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip homeless, with two million residents facing critical shortages of food, water and fuel, while Israeli troops prepared on Thursday for a possible ground invasion after Hamas’s deadly weekend assault.

Retaliating for the bloodiest attack on Israel in 50 years, Israel is pummeling Gaza with a ferocity not seen in past conflicts and has cut off vital supplies to the coastal territory. Health officials in Gaza, home to two million people, said the Israeli bombardment had killed more than 1,500 people and injured over 6,600 others.

Israel’s military says that it is hitting places used by Hamas, which controls Gaza, including mosques, houses and other outwardly civilian locations. Gazans say the airstrikes are doing indiscriminate damage to civilians and civilian sites, and independent observers have confirmed that schools and ambulances have been destroyed.

The retaliatory strikes began after Hamas terrorists broke through the border fence with Israel on Saturday morning and attacked towns, kibbutzim and a military base, killing more than 1,200 people, most of them civilians, wounding about 3,000 others and kidnapping about 150 hostages, the Israeli government said.

Gaza’s only power plant stopped generating electricity on Wednesday for lack of fuel, shutting down everything from lights to refrigerators, and much of the region lacks running water. Hospitals are overwhelmed with wounded patients and running out of vital supplies; fuel for generators and vehicles is dwindling rapidly; food and water are growing scarce; and it is not clear when humanitarian aid might be allowed in.

“We are facing a huge disaster,” Adnan Abu Hasna, an official with the United Nations agency that aids Palestinian refugees, said by phone from Gaza. He described conditions as “absolutely horrible.” [Continue reading…]

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