Average of 160 kids dying per day in Gaza: WHO

Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) said that as the raging Israel-Hamas conflict has completed a month since it erupted on October 7, more than 10,000 people, or some 0.5 per cent of the total population in the besieged enclave, have reportedly been killed, with an average of 160 children dying per day.

So far, 16 health workers have been killed on duty, and the WHO is working to support health workers in Gaza and once again pleading for their safety, Xinhua news agency quoted the world body’s spokesperson Christian Lindmeier as saying at a press briefing here.

Lindmeier said 102 attacks against healthcare had been recorded in Gaza, 121 in the West Bank, and 25 in Israel.

At the moment, 14 hospitals in Gaza were not functioning, due to the lack of fuel or the damages, he added.

Noting that Tuesday marked a month since the Hamas waged its war against Israel, the WHO official said that people in the Jewish nation were frightened and worried about more than 200 hostages, reiterating the call for the immediate release of all the hostages, many of whom need urgent medical attention.

He also said that some doctors in Gaza have been performing operations, including amputations, without anesthesia.

“Nothing justifies the horror being endured by civilians in Gaza,” Lindmeier said, stressing their “desperate need for water, fuel, food and safe access to health care to survive”.

The WHO spokesman reiterated the UN’s calls for “unhindered, safe and secure access” for some 500 trucks of aid a day — not only across the border but also “all the way through to the patients in the hospitals”, where surgeries including amputations were being performed without anesthesia.

The level of death and suffering is “hard to fathom”, he added.

According to the Gaza-based Palestinian Health Ministry, the death toll since the beginning of the conflict stood at 10,328 as of Wednesday morning, with 24,408 people injured.

Of the total fatalities, 67 per cent are said to be children and women, the Ministry said, adding that some 2,450 people, including 1,350 kids, have been reported missing and may be trapped or dead under the rubble.

Overall, about 1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in the Jewish nation, according to authorities.

The names of 1,159 of these fatalities have been released, including 828 civilians.

The death toll among Israeli soldiers in Gaza remains 30, official Israeli sources have confirmed.

Some 240 people are held captive in Gaza, including Israelis and foreign nationals.

Media reports indicate that about 30 of the hostages are children.

So far, four civilian hostages have been released by Hamas, and a female Israeli soldier was rescued by Israeli forces.

Hamas has claimed that 57 of the hostages were killed by Israeli airstrikes.

IANS

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