In a stunning development, the World Health Organization (WHO) was forced to evacuate medical supplies from a warehouse in southern Gaza. The Israeli military issued a warning of impending ground operations that would render the area inaccessible. While Israel's Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) refuted claims of issuing an evacuation order, WHO personnel managed to relocate some supplies. This incident underscores the escalating healthcare crisis in the war-torn region.
WHO's Plea to Israel
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO, implored Israel to revoke the order and protect civilians and humanitarian facilities. The situation in southern Gaza, primarily in Khan Younis, is dire. The ongoing military actions threaten to sever healthcare access for thousands of individuals in the region.
Rise in Infectious Diseases
The healthcare calamity in Gaza is further compounded by an uptick in infectious diseases. The region has witnessed an increase in acute respiratory infections, scabies, jaundice, diarrhea, and Hepatitis E. The latter disease is particularly menacing for pregnant women. In the midst of this health crisis, only 18 of the pre-war 36 hospitals are operational, with those functioning below capacity.
Israel Resumes Offensive
Since October 7, Israel has resumed its military offensive on the Gaza Strip following a week-long humanitarian pause with the Palestinian group Hamas. The relentless air and ground attacks on the enclave have resulted in the deaths of at least 15,899 Palestinians and injured more than 42,000 others. The Israeli death toll, as per official figures, stands at 1,200.
In other news, Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly preparing for visits to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, as per Russian news outlet Shot, citing Putin's aide Yury Ushakov.