WHO says no medical supplies received in Gaza for 10 days

GENEVA – The World Health Organization said Friday that it has received no medical supplies in the Gaza Strip for 10 days as Israel pursues a new offensive against Hamas.

Israel’s closure of the Rafah crossing into Gaza has caused “a difficult situation”, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said. “The last medical supplies that we got in Gaza was before May 6.”

Israeli troops entered the city of Rafah on May 7 to extend their offensive against Hamas over the militant group’s attacks seven months earlier. They closed the Rafah crossing into Egypt that is crucial for humanitarian supplies.

With UN agencies warning of a growing risk of famine in Gaza, the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings from Israel are also virtually shut down.

Jasarevic said the biggest concern was over fuel needed to keep clinics and hospitals running. Gaza’s health facilities need up to 1.8 million litres of fuel a month to keep operating.

The spokesman said only 159,000 litres had entered Rafah since the border closure. “This is clearly not sufficient,” he added, highlighting how only 13 out of 36 hospitals across the Palestinian territory were now “partially” operating.

“Hospitals still functioning are running out of fuel, and that puts so many lives at danger,” said Jasarevic. “Current military operations in Rafah are putting countless lives at risk.”

The Hamas attack on October 7 resulted in the death of more than 1,170 people in Israel, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures. Out of 252 people taken hostage, 128 are still held inside Gaza, but the army says 38 have died.

More than 35,300 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the Palestinian territory since the war broke out, according to data provided by the health ministry of Hamas-run Gaza. –AFP