Israel has banned the entry of fuel in Gaza since the start of the war following the October 7 attack by Hamas. Tel Aviv claims that the militant group Hamas will use the fuel for military purposes.
Israel has also cut off food, water and other supplies, except for limited aid from Egypt, which aid workers say is insufficient compared to what is needed.
A communications system blackout in Gaza continued for a fifth day today, largely cutting off Gaza’s 2.3 million people from each other and the outside world.
According to Juliet Touma, spokeswoman for the United Nations Palestine Refugee Agency, her agency was unable to bring its aid convoy on Friday due to the loss of communications and will not be able to bring aid as long as the blackout continues.
“A prolonged blackout means the suspension of our humanitarian operations in the Gaza Strip,” Touma told to media.
In a video on the social media platform X, United Nations officials have described the dire health situation in Gaza, saying that 50,000 women who have been under siege for more than a month are pregnant, and among them more than 180 women go through the process of giving birth every day.
Official further says that due to repeated lack of electricity, doctors perform surgeries on them with the light of their mobile phones. He said the world needs to “stop” it.
Gaza getting merely 10 % of its daily needs
According to the World Health Organization, Gaza is getting only 10 percent of its daily food needs from supplies from Egypt, and because of water system blockages, most of the population is drinking contaminated water that spreads diseases.
Abeer Atifa, regional spokesperson for the Middle East of the World Food Program, said that water scarcity and malnutrition are increasing, with almost all residents in need of food.
“People are facing the immediate possibility of starvation”, he said, speaking from Cairo on Thursday.
Israeli forces have indicated that they may continue operations in the north as well as increase their offensive towards the south of Gaza.
Israeli soldiers are searching the region’s largest al-Shafa hospital for evidence of a Hamas command center. Israel alleges that the Hamas command center was located under the building. Hamas and hospital staff have denied the Israeli claim.
Meanwhile, with the presence of Israeli soldiers around the al-Shafa Hospital compound, doctors described the dire conditions inside.
Power has been out for nearly a week, leaving incubators for infants and ventilators for patients in the intensive care ICU inoperable, doctors said, according to the AP. About 7,000 people are trapped there, including patients, staff and families of civilians.
52 dead since fuel stopped
Al-Shifa hospital director Muhammad Abu Salmiya told media that 52 patients have died since the fuel ran out. According to him, the hospital staff is amputating some of the injured to prevent the spread of infection due to lack of medicine. Another doctor, Faisal Syam, told that more people were on the brink of death because their wounds were “open”.
Dr. Ahmed Mukhlisi said that most of the 36 premature babies are suffering from severe diarrhea because there is no clean water. The Israeli army did not comment on the report. The conditions described by the doctors could not be verified by neutral sources. Abu Salmiya said that Israeli soldiers should either bring in fuel for the electrical equipment or allow the evacuation.