A hundred days of horror, destruction and displacement in Gaza


Ziad Mansour, a neighbour of the Abu Aweidah family, sits next to writing painted on a wall amid the rubble of the family's house, which was destroyed in a deadly Israeli strike amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Rafah, Gaza Strip. - Reuters

RAMALLAH/GAZA (Bernama-WAFA): In the wake of a hundred days marked by relentless killings, destruction, and despair, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refuses to halt the war on Gaza, the Palestine News and Information Agency (WAFA) reported.

Facing charges of genocide by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Netanyahu defiantly declares, "no one will stop us, neither The Hague nor anyone else," intensifying the urgency for immediate global intervention to stop Israel's appetite for bloodshed.

The Israeli occupation's systematic genocide against the people of Gaza by land, sea, and air since Oct 7 has left an indelible mark.

Preliminary statistics reveal a harrowing reality: 24,000 martyrs, over 60,000 wounded, and 8,000 missing.

Among the victims are 7,000 women and 10,300 children. Additionally, over 100 journalists, 373 healthcare workers, 148 United Nations (UN) employees, 4,257 students, and 227 educators have also lost their lives.

Unparalleled scale of destruction

A recent report by the United Kingdom-based Save the Children organisation sheds light on the dire situation, highlighting that at least 10 children lose their limbs daily in Gaza. Most pediatric surgeries are conducted without anesthesia due to a lack of essential medical supplies.

The scale of destruction is unparalleled. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reports that 290,000 homes have been affected, with 65,000 rendered uninhabitable and 25,010 structures reduced to rubble.

The Israeli offensive also targeted and destroyed 145 mosques, three churches, 30 non-functional hospitals, and damaged 26 others. Ambulances, too, were destroyed, hampering emergency services.

Only 15 per cent stayed at home

The displacement crisis is staggering, with around 1.93 million Gazans (85 per cent of the population) forcibly displaced. The exact number of internally displaced persons is challenging to ascertain amidst the ongoing aggression.

Recent eviction orders issued by the invading Israeli military in the Mawasi area and several residential blocks near Salah al-Din Road in southern Gaza are expected to affect over 18,000 individuals and disrupt nine shelters hosting an unknown number of forced evacuees.

According to the Ministry of Health, obtaining an accurate count of the total displaced population remains difficult amid the continuing aggression and its repercussions.

Rafah, the primary hub for the displaced

Rafah has become the primary hub for the displaced, accommodating over a million people in densely populated environments.

UNRWA estimates indicate that the number of displaced individuals in its 156 facilities in Gaza has reached 914,000, including 5,000 pregnant women and over 2,000 persons with disabilities.

As winter sets in, dozens of shelters housing tens of thousands of displaced individuals in northern and southern Gaza have been inundated by rainwater mixed with sewage, further exacerbating the plight of the residents.

A siege on the sieged

Israeli War Minister Yuval Galant announced on Oct 9 that he had ordered a "complete siege" on the besieged Gaza Strip, which had already been under a blockade for 17 years. The blockade includes cutting off all vital supplies such as water, electricity, food, and fuel. Consequently, Gaza's crossings were closed.

Amid international pressure, the first aid convoy entered Gaza on Oct 21, 2023, marking the first since the onset of the conflict.

At the beginning of the following month, the crossing opened for the first time, allowing the exit of some wounded individuals, patients, and foreign passport holders.

The blockade on fuel imports to Gaza continued until Nov 24, when a "humanitarian truce" was declared for four days, extended for an additional three days. This included the release of 240 child prisoners and female detainees from Israeli prisons.

In recent times, between 80 and 120 aid trucks enter Gaza daily, falling short of the 600 trucks needed daily, as confirmed by humanitarian organisations. The UN asserts that Israeli authorities create obstacles to the delivery of humanitarian aid to northern Gaza, resulting in additional loss of lives.

The spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, Stefan Dujarric, clarified that between Jan 1 and 10, only three shipments out of 21 humanitarian aid shipments were delivered to northern Gaza.

International and Arab action to halt the aggression

The United Nations Security Council held six sessions addressing the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza. The first four sessions failed to adopt any resolutions due to the use of the veto or insufficient votes.

In the fifth attempt, Resolution 2712, presented by Malta, was adopted, calling for urgent humanitarian truces and corridors throughout Gaza.

It received support from 12 members, while the United States (US), Russia, and the United Kingdom (UK) abstained.

Resolution 2720 was also adopted by a significant majority in the Security Council. Thirteen out of the fifteen Council members voted in favor of the resolution presented by the United Arab Emirates, while the US and Russia abstained.

The resolution calls for all parties to allow immediate, secure, and unobstructed humanitarian aid to Gaza, urging "urgent" measures to facilitate a sustainable cessation of hostilities.

The US used its veto power against a Russian attempt to add a call for an "urgent and sustainable ceasefire" to the resolution.

In Saudi Arabia, an extraordinary joint Arab-Islamic summit took place in Riyadh, responding to the exceptional conditions in Gaza and the Palestinian territories.

The summit urged the UN Security Council to make a decisive, binding resolution compelling an end to Israeli aggression, restraining the occupying authority, and considering any hesitation as complicity allowing Israel to continue its brutal onslaught.

International Court of Justice: A glimpse of hope

After 100 days of genocide and continuous attacks by land, sea, and air, the world awaits the ICJ's decision in The Hague, Netherlands, on the case filed by South Africa against Israel. The accusation claims Israel committed "genocide" against Gaza's citizens.

The court held its first session on January 11, hearing arguments presented by South Africa's state attorney and Justice Minister Ronald Lamola. In its second session on the following Friday, Israel presented its arguments.

The court is expected to issue an expedited decision, calling for an immediate halt to the aggression on the people of Gaza, ensuring the flow of humanitarian aid, and definitively condemning Israel for committing the crime of genocide in the Gaza Strip.- Bernama-WAFA

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Palestine , Gaza , Israeli attack , genocide , 100 days

   

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