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Gaza is a massive human rights crisis and a humanitarian disaster


What is the human rights situation in Gaza?

It is extremely grim. The numbers are staggering. Some 25,000 people have been killed, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health, and more than 65,000 wounded. Several thousand are still under the rubble, so the figures will likely go up. There are 1.9 million people displaced out of a population of 2.3 million. There is no safe place in Gaza. Bombardments by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are relentless, in the north and in Khan Younis in the south. There is also a massive scarcity of food, water, medicines, tents and other basic necessities.

The existing shelters are cramped and the sanitary conditions are disastrous. In Rafah and Khan Younis, sewage is flowing out in every corner. This is a ticking time bomb for an epidemic to happen.

What is life like for civilians?

Life for civilians in Gaza is miserable. Thousands of people are constantly on the move from places they have been told are safe, living in constant fear. People make tents with plastic bags and wood they can find. People are living on one meal a day if they are lucky. There is one image that stuck with me: I saw over 100 kids running towards one cart that was bringing in food. You see kids everywhere, carrying water in jerrycans, sometimes as young as four, chopping wood to use it for fire. Children have not gone to school in months – their schools and universities have been ruined, destroying their hopes for the future. Hospitals and clinics have been attacked, so few are functioning, whether it is for trauma or a woman who wants to give birth.



Children are dying from hunger

As the risk of famine grows, and more people are exposed to deadly disease outbreaks, a fundamental step change in the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza is urgently needed, United Nations agencies warned today. The heads of the World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) say that getting enough supplies into and across Gaza now depends on: the opening of new entry routes; more trucks being allowed through border checks each day; fewer restrictions on the movement of humanitarian workers; and guarantees of safety for people accessing and distributing aid.