The World Health Organization (WHO) chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has described the situation in the Palestinian enclave as “impossible to describe.” The continued Israeli military campaign in Gaza has caused severe damage to the healthcare system in the region and has led to significant civilian casualties, including children. Ghebreyesus informed the UN Security Council that since the start of the Israeli operation, more than 250 attacks on the healthcare system in Gaza and the West Bank have been verified by the WHO. These attacks targeted medical facilities, ambulances, and patients. The healthcare system in Gaza is now “on its knees,” he said. Additionally, around 1.5 million people have been displaced from their homes, with tens of thousands seeking shelter in overcrowded hospitals and schools.
Ghebreyesus emphasized that people in the Palestinian enclave are looking for shelter wherever they can find it, but nowhere and no one is safe in Gaza due to the Israeli bombardments and airstrikes. These attacks have resulted in more than 10,800 deaths in Gaza, predominantly women and children. The WHO chief conveyed a harrowing statistic, revealing that a child is killed every ten minutes in Gaza.
Israel has stated that it is making efforts to ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Its ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, told the Security Council that the nation had created a special task force to establish hospitals in the southern part of the enclave. According to Erdan, Israel is in discussions with the United Arab Emirates, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and various European countries regarding the establishment of field-hospital and floating-hospital ships. Furthermore, West Jerusalem has facilitated the Jordanian airdrop of medical aid to hospitals in northern Gaza.
Erdan claimed that Israel was doing more for Gaza than any other UN body, including the WHO. However, Washington, which is a key ally of West Jerusalem, admitted on Friday that the Israeli actions had resulted in a significant number of casualties in Gaza. US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, acknowledged that “far too many” Palestinians have died in Israel’s retaliatory campaign against the Gaza-based Hamas militant group. The US has been pressuring Israel to introduce longer “humanitarian pauses,” especially to facilitate humanitarian aid deliveries to the enclave.
Overall, the situation in the Palestinian enclave is dire, with the continued Israeli military campaign causing substantial damage to the healthcare system and leading to a significant number of civilian casualties, particularly women and children. The UN and WHO have been working to provide aid and assistance to the affected population, but the need for humanitarian intervention in Gaza remains urgent. Despite efforts by Israel and its allies to alleviate the crisis, the international community must come together to find a sustainable solution to the conflict in the region and ensure the safety and well-being of the Palestinian people.