Gaza is “on the brink” as rockets fall and Israel’s blockade leaves its 2.3 million residents without electricity, internet or running water
Gaza is facing a humanitarian crisis as Israel’s blockades caused its only power plant to run out of fuel, authorities warned yesterday.
Israel’s blockade of fuel, food, water and medicine supplies to the Palestinian territory has left Gaza’s 2.3 million residents without electricity, internet or running water.
The only power plant was shut down after running out of fuel, leaving schools and hospitals reliant on emergency generators and fuel supplies running low. Israeli airstrikes continued to bomb the Gaza Strip, destroying entire neighborhoods, in retaliation for attacks by Hamas militants on Saturday that killed more than 1,200 people.
Troops and tanks gathered near the Israel-Gaza border ahead of an expected ground attack, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formed an emergency government with key members of the opposition party.
Aerial view of buildings destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in the Jabalia camp for Palestinian refugees in Gaza City
On October 11, a man carries a child injured in Israeli airstrikes to a hospital in Gaza City
The Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza warned that the enclave was on the verge of collapse. It said: “Soon all services vital to the survival of the population, including hospitals, will no longer function.” It came as:
- The Palestinian death toll rose to over 1,100 since Saturday, including 326 children, with thousands more injured;
- Israeli airstrikes reportedly killed one of Hamas’s founders, Abd al-Fattah Dukhan, known as “Abu Osama,” and two other senior leaders;
- Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel, hitting a hospital in the southern city of Ashkelon.
- Secretary of State James Cleverly was forced to seek shelter after warning sirens sounded during a visit to Israel;
- At least 17 British citizens, including children, have been confirmed dead and missing from Saturday’s attacks;
- British Airways and Virgin Atlantic suspended flights to Tel Aviv after BA diverted a plane shortly before landing.
- Israel has admitted its airstrikes focused on “damage, not accuracy,” and Palestinian authorities say a hospital, mosques and a university were hit.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, medicines and medical supplies, including antiseptics, are “on the verge of running out.” 60 percent of the injured are women and children.
An Israeli army self-propelled howitzer fires shots near the Gaza border in southern Israel on October 1
Dwindling fuel supplies and damage to roads have also threatened rescue operations as teams have been unable to reach potential survivors trapped under the rubble.
The scale of Israel’s retaliation has raised concerns in the international community, including those expressed by Pope Francis. He called on Hamas to release the hostages captured during Saturday’s attack and said he was praying for those killed, injured and those left behind in the attacks.
In his weekly audience in Rome, the Pope said: “Those who are attacked have the right to defend themselves.” But I am very concerned about the total siege under which Palestinians live in Gaza, where there are also many innocent victims. “
A prominent mosque in Egypt, Al-Azhar al-Sharif, called for an investigation by Israel into alleged war crimes against civilians in the Gaza Strip, including its “inhumane siege.”
Israel has defended its airstrikes, saying it was right to target the “nest of terror” behind the Hamas attacks.
This came as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of the conflict spreading to neighboring countries. He said: “I appeal to all parties and those who have influence over these parties to avoid any further escalation and spillover.”
The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah fired an anti-tank missile at an Israeli military position yesterday. The Israeli army shelled the area in southern Lebanon where the attack took place. Rockets were also fired at Israel from Syria.