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UN report unveils Gaza displacement crisis amid Israel-Hamas conflict

A recent report from the United Nations has shed light on a dire humanitarian crisis situation in the Gaza Strip in the wake of the intensifying Israel-Hamas conflict. More than 338,000 people have been compelled to flee their homes in this densely populated Palestinian enclave, as heavy Israeli bombardments continue to wreak havoc.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) issued a statement that said, “Mass displacement across the Gaza Strip continues,” indicating the relentless nature of the crisis. In just 24 hours, the number of displaced individuals in Gaza surged by an additional 75,000, reaching a staggering 338,934.

The upsurge in displacement follows Israel’s fierce response to the militants’ surprise attack last Saturday. Israeli forces reported a heart-wrenching toll of 1,200 people killed, with the majority being civilians. This onslaught stands as the most devastating in the nation’s history, further highlighting the severe impact of the conflict.

Gaza, on the other hand, has witnessed over 1,000 casualties due to Israel’s sustained campaign of air and artillery strikes. The situation is dire, with many innocent lives affected.

OCHA’s report also revealed that nearly 220,000 of the displaced individuals, comprising two-thirds of the total, have sought shelter in schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

An additional 15,000 people have found refuge in schools administered by the Palestinian Authority. Furthermore, more than 100,000 individuals are being sheltered by relatives, neighbors, a church, and other facilities within Gaza City.

Even before Saturday’s attack, approximately 3,000 people had been displaced within the enclave, demonstrating the region’s longstanding vulnerability to conflict.

The ongoing conflict has caused severe damage to Gaza’s housing infrastructure. The report noted that at least 2,540 housing units have been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable, while another 22,850 housing units have sustained moderate to minor damage.

The UN agency expressed deep concern over the extensive destruction of civilian infrastructure, including sewage facilities that serve over a million people. Air strikes have left sewage facilities in ruins, resulting in solid waste accumulating in the streets, posing a grave health risk.

Source: SABC

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