IN the wake of the devastating Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank, the death toll has surged to at least 3,866, the majority of them civilians, including children, with 13,400 individuals injured, the Ministry of Health said in an update yesterday afternoon.
The Ministry said in a brief statement that the number of deaths in the Gaza Strip has reached 3,785, while the death toll in the West Bank also surged to 81.
Meanwhile, over 12,000 people have been injured in Gaza and 1,400 others in the West Bank.
The ongoing Israeli aggression has brought immense suffering to the Palestinian population especially in the Gaza Strip, with casualties, particularly among innocent children and healthcare workers, mounting around the clock.
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has expressed deep concern over Israel’s blatant defiance of international law, human rights principles, and international legitimacy.
This concern, said the ministry in a statement, stems from Israel’s ongoing misleading campaigns aimed at demonising the Palestinian people and their cause.
The Ministry emphasised that Israel continues to openly threaten further acts of violence, including more killings, the expansion of ethnic cleansing and forced displacement.
‘Israel is further exploiting self-defence as a pretext to advance its expansionist colonial plans, undermining any prospects for a two-state solution and attempting to impose a new agenda upon regional and international interests,’ added the statement.
‘In doing so, it attempts to evade the obligations of peace and the resolution of the entire Palestinian issue.’
The Ministry reiterated its condemnation of Israel’s destructive war and its intensifying crimes of ethnic cleansing against our people in Gaza, which have now extended into the 14th consecutive day.
‘This campaign aims to destroy Gaza and significant areas within it, resulting in the forced displacement of its population,’ the statement pointed out.
‘In the midst of this relentless onslaught, everything in Gaza is at risk, including churches, mosques, hospitals, schools, civilian homes, educational and cultural institutions, media outlets, and more. Notably, these crimes also include heinous acts of collective killing against innocent civilians.’
NO AID REACHING GAZA!
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has visited the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip in a bid to get aid flowing into the besieged Palestinian enclave.
However, there was no agreement when delivery of relief materials stockpiled in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula will start.
‘We are actively engaging with all the parties, with Egypt, Israel, the United States … in order to have these trucks moving as soon as possible,’ Guterres told journalists on Friday.
The US said details of a deal to send aid through the border were still being hammered out.
Earlier, Washington said an agreement had been reached for the passage of the first 20 trucks. However, UN officials say that aid deliveries are needed at a significant scale and under sustainable conditions.
Most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have long depended on humanitarian aid. The coastal enclave has been under a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt since Hamas took control of it in 2007.
Before the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, the armed group that rules Gaza, around 450 aid trucks were arriving in the enclave daily.
However, it has been under Israeli bombardment, cut off from power, water and food, and the borders have been sealed since Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7.
‘We are in deep and advanced negotiations with all relevant sides to ensure that an aid operation into Gaza starts as quickly as possible and with the right conditions,’ Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told reporters in Geneva.
The UN was encouraged by reports that the first delivery was due to start ‘in the next day or so’, he added.
Guterres said there was an ‘absolute need to have these trucks moving as soon as possible and as many as necessary’, adding that ‘this must be a sustained effort’.
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