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War in the Middle East: Aid workers powerless in the face of “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza

War in the Middle East: Aid workers powerless in the face of “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza

Dirty water, no food and no help – organizations describe the situation in Gaza as “unspeakable”. At outside pressure, Israel announces the opening of another border crossing.

Israel is opening another border crossing for the transport of aid to the suffering civilian population in the Gaza Strip. Trucks carrying goods for Gaza will in future also be able to use the Kerem Shalom border crossing, said the Israeli Cogat authority, which is responsible for contacts with the Palestinians, and the military.

However, as with the previously used Nitzana crossing, the trucks will not drive directly into the Gaza Strip. Instead, they head for the Rafah crossing via Egypt. Israel inspects trucks at its border crossings to prevent weapons from being smuggled. Water, food, tents and medical supplies can be brought to Gaza.

“We would like to emphasize that no deliveries from Israel enter the Gaza Strip,” said the statement from Cogat and the army. “Humanitarian aid to Gaza will continue to be channeled exclusively through the Rafah border crossing in Egypt.”

Aid organizations speak of a “humanitarian catastrophe”. Because of the ongoing fighting, it is almost impossible to deliver aid to those in need, they emphasize. According to the Palestinian relief organization UNRWA, almost 1.9 million people are on the run within the Gaza Strip – more than 80 percent of the population.

They are huddled together in the south of the Gaza Strip under indescribable conditions and in very small spaces. Many people there are not safe from the fighting between the Israeli armed forces and Hamas. Israel rejects calls for a humanitarian ceasefire.

Dirty water, no food, no electricity

The children who are still alive drink dirty water due to a lack of drinking water, said Soeripto. With the onset of winter and heavy rains, sewage washed onto the streets. “There is no food, no electricity, and most hospitals are no longer functioning,” said Soeripto. “It is essentially unspeakable what is happening before our eyes.”

According to the United Nations, half of the population in the Gaza Strip is now starving. Before the start of the war, which had lasted more than two months, around two million people lived in the area sealed off by Israel, which is only slightly larger than Munich. Around half of these were children and young people.

Following instructions from the Israeli military, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled from the embattled north to the south, where there is now fighting. According to the Palestinian relief organization UNRWA, almost 1.9 million people are on the run – more than 80 percent of the population.

The war was triggered by the worst massacre in Israel’s history, carried out by terrorists from Hamas and other extremist groups on October 7th in Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip. More than 1,200 people were killed. In addition, 240 people were kidnapped into the Gaza Strip, some of whom were released during a temporary ceasefire.

Israel responded to the terrorist attack with massive air strikes and a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip. According to the Hamas-controlled health authority, around 18,000 people have now been killed and more than 49,200 injured.

The Israeli military says it captured over 500 members of Islamist terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip last month. 350 of them belonged to Hamas, which ruled the Gaza Strip before the war, and 120 to the Hamas-allied Islamic Jihad, the army leadership said on Monday evening. The military counterintelligence and the domestic intelligence service Shin Bet would subject the prisoners to further interrogations.

Numbers of Israeli soldiers killed

According to the Israeli side, 104 soldiers have now died. Five military personnel died yesterday in a battle in the southern town of Khan Yunis alone, the army confirmed. They fell victim to a booby trap while advancing against a Hamas terrorist cell. The unit called in air support for assistance. The Hamas fighters were killed as a result, the army said in a statement.

A total of 432 Israeli soldiers were killed. The figure includes the military casualties caused by the Islamist Hamas massacre at the start of the war. A total of 1,200 people were murdered in the terrorist attack from the Gaza Strip on residential areas in neighboring southern Israel. The army’s casualty tally also takes into account Israeli soldiers killed in fighting with the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon on Israel’s northern border, as well as victims of accidents in action.

Yesterday the Israeli military published for the first time the number of soldiers wounded in the Gaza war. Accordingly, 1,593 military personnel were injured, including 559 since the start of the ground offensive. 255 soldiers suffered serious injuries, 446 moderate injuries and 892 minor injuries.

The daily newspaper Haaretz expressed doubts about the accuracy of the numbers. They would not correspond to the information that the paper was able to find out from hospitals. Since the start of the war in 1949, soldiers are said to have been treated in the Barsilai Hospital in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon alone.

The massacre on October 7th triggered the Gaza war. Carried out by terrorists from Hamas and other groups, it was the worst act of terrorism Israel has faced in its history. Israel then began massive air strikes and, since the end of October, a ground offensive in the area. According to the Hamas-controlled health authority, around 18,200 Palestinians have now been killed and more than 49,600 injured.

EU chief diplomat accuses Israel of ignoring calls

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell described the US veto as regrettable. He also accused Israel of ignoring calls from partners such as the European Union. “We said, among other things, at the G7 meetings that Israel should not use the same tactics in the south of Gaza that it used in the north,” he said on the sidelines of an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels. But the bombing continues with extraordinary intensity.

Climate organizations: Israel wants to “eliminate” Palestinians

A network of environmental organizations criticized Israel’s actions in drastic terms at the UN climate conference in Dubai. “Israel’s actions aim to eliminate the Palestinian people through the unfolding genocide and ethnic cleansing,” the Climate Action Network said. According to its own information, it includes more than 1,900 civil society organizations in more than 130 countries and at the international level – including Greenpeace, Oxfam and Germanwatch.

The Islamist Hamas, which triggered the war with an attack on Israel on October 7, is not mentioned in the statement.

Israel’s army drops equipment for soldiers over Gaza

Israel’s army says it has dropped several tons of equipment for soldiers over the Gaza Strip in recent days. This included around seven tons of water for the emergency services in the southern part of the coastal area, the military said. It was the first airdrop since the second Lebanon war in 2006.

General strike in Jordan, Lebanon and West Bank

In protest against the Gaza war, many shops and public institutions remained closed in Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian West Bank on Monday. In Jordan’s capital Amman and other cities, the streets were reportedly deserted. In Lebanon, government facilities and schools remained closed. In Mauritania, northwest Africa, all scheduled exams and classes were canceled to allow students to participate in “activities in support of Gaza.”

Rocket fire from Gaza into Israel – One injured

The Islamist Hamas again fired rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israeli towns. Warning sirens wailed several times in the border area and the greater Tel Aviv area. In Holon, south of the coastal town, a 45-year-old was injured by rocket fragments, according to medics. Hamas’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

New shelling on the border between Lebanon and Israel

Mutual shelling also broke out again on the border between Israel and Lebanon. The Israeli army said targets in Lebanon were attacked after several rockets were fired at Israel. According to the information, Israel’s missile defense system intercepted six projectiles from Lebanon.

Source: Stern

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