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HOSPITALS in Gaza and the West Bank and other vital medical infrastructure have been attacked almost 600 times since Israel invaded the territory, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said today.
The UN health body reported that 613 Palestinians have been killed in health facilities and about 770 injured during the deadly Israeli assault.
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier condemned the continuation of the fighting and bombing and said: “The reduction of humanitarian space and the attacks on healthcare are bringing the population of Gaza to an extreme situation.”
The attacks, which are against international law, have affected 94 health centres, including 26 damaged hospitals out of the total of 36 in the Gaza Strip.
Many of these health facilities were struggling prior to the latest chapter in the Israeli occupation of Gaza.
Unicef director Catherine Russell said that the children of Gaza “are trapped in a nightmare that worsens with each passing day.”
She said that children’s lives are increasingly in danger due to preventable diseases and the lack of food and water, while calling to protect them from violence and provide them with access to basic services and supplies.
Cases of diarrhoea in children under five years old increased from 48,000 to 71,000 in just one week starting December 17, which is equivalent to 3,200 new cases a day.
Ms Russell said that this significant increase indicates that children’s health in Gaza is “deteriorating rapidly.”
Before the escalation of hostilities, an average of 2,000 cases of diarrhoea per month were recorded in children under five years of age.
Since the war began, Israel’s assault in Gaza has killed more than 23,200 Palestinians, roughly 1 per cent of the territory’s population, and more than 58,000 have been wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Around two thirds of the dead are women and children.
Many more casualties are thought to be trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings so the death toll is likely to be much higher than the current figure.
Nearly 85 per cent of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million have been driven from their homes by the fighting, and a quarter of its residents face starvation, with only a trickle of food, water, medicine and other supplies entering through the continuing Israeli siege.
Israel launched its invasion of Gaza following a surprise attack by Hamas on October 7 that killed over 1,100 Israelis, mainly civilians, and took about 240 people hostage.
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