Number of People Living in Shelters Across Gaza Strip Reaches 1.3Mln - WHO
10:01 GMT 29.11.2023 (Updated: 09:24 GMT 05.12.2023)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - As many as 1.3 million people are living in shelters in the Gaza Strip with limited access to basic needs and the looming risk of disease outbreaks due to poor living conditions and a lack of basic health care, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday.
Last week, Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Philippe Lazzarini said that over 1 million people were sheltering in UNRWA-run installations across the enclave.
"1.3 million people are currently living in shelters in Gaza," Tedros wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
He added that due to "overcrowding and lack of food, water, sanitation and basic hygiene, waste management and access to medication," the number of cases of acute respiratory infections has reached 111,000, while around 12,000 were diagnosed with scabies and 11,000 people were suffering from lice. The risk of disease outbreaks is extremely high, and more people could die from them rather than bombings "given the living conditions and lack of health care," Tedros added.
The WHO chief also called for a sustained ceasefire, saying that it is "a matter of life or death" for civilians in the Gaza Strip.
On October 7, Palestinian movement Hamas launched a surprise large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip and breached the border, killing and abducting people. Israel launched retaliatory strikes and ordered a complete blockade of Gaza, cutting off supplies of water, food, and fuel. On October 27, Israel launched a large-scale ground incursion into the Gaza Strip.
28 November 2023, 06:59 GMT
Last week, the sides declared a four-day truce to exchange some of the prisoners and hostages, as well as allow the delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza. Late on Monday, Qatar said that an agreement had been reached between Israel and Hamas on a two-day extension of the humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip on the same terms as the previous one. The conflict has so far resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,200 people in Israel and over 16,000 in the Gaza Strip.