Africa: 25,000 Killed in Gaza War As Humanitarian Needs Go On Rising

“Intense” Israeli bombardment in Gaza continued on Monday along with rocket fire into Israel by Palestinian armed groups as UN humanitarians reported that more than 25,000 have died in the enclave since war began on 7 October.

Citing Gaza’s health authorities, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also noted that some 62,681 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli strikes launched in retaliation for Hamas-led massacres in Israel that left some 1,200 dead and around 250 people taken hostage.

Two Israeli soldiers have also been killed in Gaza since Friday, OCHA said, bringing the total to193 since the start of the ground operation and 1,203 soldiers injured, according to the Israeli military.

The same period saw 343 Palestinians killed and another 573 people injured, the UN aid coordination office said.

UN chief’s two-State appeal

The development came as Israeli and Palestinian foreign ministers prepared to meet their European Union counterparts on Monday in separate private talks in Brussels, after UN Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the ongoing Gaza bloodshed as “heartbreaking and utterly unacceptable”.

Addressing a summit of the G77+China in the Ugandan capital Kampala on Sunday, Mr. Guterres described the Middle East as “a tinderbox”, before issuing an appeal to “do all we can to prevent conflict from igniting across the region”.

“Israel’s military operations have spread mass destruction and killed civilians on a scale unprecedented during my time as Secretary-General,” Mr. Guterres said, having earlier reiterated his support for a two-State solution for Israelis and Palestinians.

“The denial of the right to statehood for the Palestinian people would indefinitely prolong a conflict that has become a major threat to global peace and security; exacerbate polarization; and embolden extremists everywhere,” he said.

Hunger relief

Highlighting the scale of need among Gazans after more than three months of “intense” bombardment, OCHA said that only 15 bakeries were now operational in Gaza – “six in Rafah and nine in Deir al Balah” – and none is open north of Wadi Gaza.

Almost all of these functioning bakeries have continued to receive support from the UN World Food Programme (WFP) which has provided flour, salt, yeast and sugar.

“Through this initiative, about 250,000 people were able to purchase bread at a subsidized price,” OCHA noted in its latest update on the emergency late on Sunday.

Communications blackouts

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA, meanwhile, reported on Monday that telecommunications shutdowns had entered a seventh day.

“Disruption of telecommunication services prevents people accessing life-saving information, calling first responders and continues to impede humanitarian response,” the UN agency said in a tweet on X, formerly Twitter.

In its latest update, UNRWA reported that 1.7 million people are now confirmed displaced within Gaza. At least 335 of these internally displaced people have been killed while sheltering in the agency’s premises and 1,161 have been injured, in addition to the 151 UNWRA staff killed and 141 installations damaged since 7 October.

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