Death toll in Gaza rises to over 7,000 dead including nearly 3,000 children
One scene of the aftermath of Israeli attacks on Gaza -- image via RT on Twitter
In an appalling new milestone Al Jazeera reports that the death toll in Gaza rises to more than 7,000 people, including nearly 3,000 children, Palestinian officials say.
The UN stated that reports "of an overnight Israeli military incursion using tanks in northern Gaza followed another series of calls by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) for civilians in Gaza City to evacuate – warnings which “make no difference” because “people have nowhere to go or are unable to move”, according to the UN’s top humanitarian official in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Lynn Hastings."
"“When the evacuation routes are bombed, when people north as well as south are caught up in hostilities, when the essentials for survival are lacking, and when there are no assurances for return, people are left with nothing but impossible choices”, she said, insisting that “nowhere is safe in Gaza”."
The facts on the ground are stark and incredibly grim. Al Jazeera notes:
Around 45 percent of housing units have been completely and partially destroyed.
Around 219 educational facilities have been hit, including at least 29 UNRWA schools.
An estimated 1.4 million people in Gaza are internally displaced.
A total of 101 health personnel killed by Israeli attacks, more than 100 have been wounded.
50 ambulances were attacked and half of those are out of service.
24 hospitals have been requested to evacuate in northern Gaza.
Hospitals are operating at more than 150 percent of their capacity.
At least 130 neonates dependent on incubators are now at risk of death due to lack of electricity.
Approximately 166 unsafe births per day are taking place in Gaza.
The Ministry of Health in Gaza has "recorded 69 attacks on health facilities alone, 12 of which became out of service, namely the International Eye Hospital, Dar Al-Salam Hospital, Al-Yemen Al-Saeed Hospital, Psychiatric Hospital, Beit Hanoun Hospital, Al-Durra Children's Hospital, Hamad Rehabilitation Hospital, Al-Karama Hospital, Al-Wafa Hospital for Medical Rehabilitation and Specialized Surgery, and it is expected that the Turkish Friendship Hospital will stop operating within 24-48 hours due to a sharp decrease in fuel, as well as Al-Quds Hospital of the Red Crescent, and the National Arab Baptist Hospital, which is operating. Now partially, it is likely to stop working as a result of shelling and sharp fuel drops."
The Ministry also stated that:
there is an acute shortage of medicines, equipment and cadres necessary to treat the large numbers of wounded, in addition to the sharp decrease in fuel needed to operate electricity, where surgeries are performed without anesthesia and by the light of phones.
that hospitals are operating at more than 150% of their capacity, and patients are treated in corridors, on floors and other inappropriate places, for example, Al-Shifa Medical Complex currently treats 5,000 patients per day, while its capacity is 700 patients.
that about 9,000 cancer patients rely on chemotherapy to survive, and the service is provided by the Turkish hospital, which relies on a single generator, which is expected to stop working within 48-24 hours, adding that more than 1,000 dialysis patients, the time period for the session has been reduced from 4 hours to 2.5 hours for the patient, and more than 130 premature babies dependent on incubators face the risk of death due to lack of resources and lack of electricity.
This dire situation is reaffirmed by first hand accounts from the UN:
UN humanitarian affairs coordination office OCHA said that while visiting a hospital in Gaza, UN personnel saw hundreds of wounded men, women and children.
“Many of them were unconscious, with open wounds – lying on beds, stretchers and on the floor – with limited medical attendance,” while tens of dead bodies were being kept in a tent in the yard because morgues are full, the UN office said.
The ongoing fuel blockade and lack of water, medical supplies and personnel are forcing hospitals to wind down operations, OCHA said. Humanitarians also warned that people were resorting to drinking saltwater which posed “immediate health risks”.
As of Wednesday the UN World Food Programme (WFP) estimated that “current supplies of essential food in Gaza are sufficient for about 12 days”.
"With bombardments continuing, according to Gaza’s de facto authorities, some 1,600 people including 900 children have been reported missing and may be under the rubble."
Meanwhile Wednesday, October 25 the UN Security Council again failed to call for a ceasefire or agree on a resolution for a humanitarian halt to the attacks.