GAZA STRIP: Hamas warned on Sunday (Dec 10) that no hostages would leave Gaza alive unless its demands for prisoner releases are met, while the World Health Organization said the territory’s health system was collapsing after more than two months of war.
Hamas triggered the conflict with the deadliest attack on Israel on Oct 7 in which it killed some 1,200 people, according to Israeli figures, and dragged around 240 hostages back to Gaza.
Israel has responded with a relentless military offensive that has reduced much of Gaza to rubble and killed at least 17,997 people, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
As aid groups warn the territory is on the brink of being overwhelmed by disease and starvation, the head of the United Nations decried a divided and “paralysed” Security Council for failing to agree on a ceasefire.
“Gaza’s health system is on its knees and collapsing,” said World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, with only 14 of 36 hospitals functioning at any capacity.
WHO’s executive board on Sunday adopted a resolution calling for immediate, unimpeded aid deliveries.
The UN estimates 1.9 million of Gaza’s 2.4 million people have been displaced – roughly half of them children – many forced south and running out of safe places to go.
AFP visited the bombed-out ruins of Gaza City’s Al-Shifa hospital and found at least 30,000 people taking refuge amid the rubble after Israeli forces raided the medical facility last month.
“Our life has become a living hell, there’s no electricity, no water, no flour, no bread, no medicine for the children who are all sick,” said Mohammed Daloul, 38, who fled there with his wife and three children.