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1.7 million people displaced due to Israeli war on Gaza: UNRWA

The main United Nations agency in Gaza has announced that almost 1.7 million people, nearly 80 percent of the population, have been displaced since October 7 when Israel launched its aggression against the besieged territory.

On the 47th day of the Israeli war on Gaza, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) provided some updates on its operations in the bombarded and besieged territory.

 

UNRWA said that nearly 945,000 internally displaced people were sheltering in its premises across Gaza as of November 19.

 

At least 798 internally displaced people sheltering in UNRWA schools have been injured and at least 191 were reportedly killed, it added.

 

The shelters are already severely overcrowded and have no more room for new arrivals, the agency noted.

 

The UN organization announced the displacement of so many people was resulting in a significant spread of diseases.

 

On average, there is one shower unit for every 700 people and 160 people share a single toilet, according to UNRWA.

 

UNRWA also added it was told 120 liters of fuel would be allowed into Gaza every second day — but even that would only cover half of the critical daily requirement.

 

Without more fuel, the agency said it would be forced to handle a reduced number of aid trucks carrying humanitarian aid crossing daily into Rafah, and large parts of Gaza would continue to be flooded with sewage, further increasing risks of disease.

 

UNRWA also said 23 of its installations were directly hit and 45 were impacted by collateral damage.

 

As of 20 November, UNRWA was able to verify that 89 incidents had impacted 69 UNRWA installations since the beginning of the Israeli aggression.

 

The UN agency received confirmed reports that at least two UN-run schools were completely demolished by Israeli strikes.

 

At least 108 UNRWA workers have been killed since the beginning of the Israeli war on the besieged strip. At least half have been killed south of Wadi Gaza, in the area where Israel’s military has told civilians to move.

 

On Tuesday, the United Nations Children’s Fund warned that heavy rain and limited access to water and sanitation in Gaza were also posing a “serious threat of a mass disease outbreak” among children.

 

 “Let’s be clear: the control of fuel and the access to water is to control whether thousands – perhaps tens of thousands – of children live or die,” UNICEF spokesperson James Elder told a press briefing in Geneva.

 

Catherine Russell Executive director of UNICEF has told UN Security Council during a briefing on Wednesday that "The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child," the UN official said. "Based on these figures, children account for forty percent of the deaths in Gaza. This is unprecedented," she added.

 

Israel still committing ‘crimes': Gaza media office

 

Ismail al-Thawabta, director general of the government media office in Gaza, said Israel is still committing “crimes” against the Indonesian Hospital in the north.

 

Israeli forces are also still occupying al-Shifa Hospital, “turning it into military barracks, a mass grave and area of destruction and killing,” he noted.

 

The humanitarian situation in Gaza has deteriorated in an “unprecedented manner,” he said, as markets experienced a lack of basic necessities, while bakeries have “stopped operating completely”.

 

Al-Thawabta also called for the opening of the Rafah border crossing to allow for the entry of fuel, desperately needed by hospitals, as well as sewage and water networks.

 

More than one hundred Palestinians, killed in the latest Israeli strikes on Gaza, are laid to rest in a mass grave in Khan Yunis.

 

The number of Palestinians martyred since October 7 has risen to 14,532, including about 6,000 children.




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