Israel-Hamas war: UN says Gaza civilians facing starvation, food and water become ‘practically non-existent’ – Mint

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The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) on Thursday said that civilians in Gaza were facing starvation because food and water had become “practically non-existent” due to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. 

“With winter fast approaching, unsafe and overcrowded shelters, and the lack of clean water, civilians are facing the immediate possibility of starvation,” Cindy McCain, executive director of the Rome-based WFP, said in a statement. 

The WFP has been warning of increasing hunger for weeks in Gaza. 

It said that bread was now “scarce or non-existent” and that it was impossible to “meet current hunger needs with one operational border crossing”.

The only hope to deal with starvation would be to open a second safe passage to bring food into Gaza, it added.

The UN agency also said that a lack of fuel was also impeding the delivery of food, with trucks that arrived from Egypt on Tuesday were unable to reach civilians because of insufficient fuel.

The amount of food entering Gaza can only meet seven percent of minimum daily caloric needs, said the WFP.

The US State Department on Thursday said that Israel needs to ensure protection for civilians as it looks to expand military operations in Gaza.

The Palestinian health ministry said on Thursday that 11,470 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the Israel-Hamas war broke out six weeks ago.

The vast majority have been killed in Israeli airstrikes, it added.

The health ministry said that 4,707 of the dead were children and minors and that 3,155 were women. 

On Wednesday, Israeli troops stormed Shifa and were still searching the large medical complex on Thursday.

Hamas run the Gaza Strip while its political rival, the internationally recognised Palestinian Authority, run parts of the occupied West Bank.

The main Palestinian telecom provider on Thursday said a dire fuel shortage in the Gaza Strip has shut down all internet and phone networks.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 17 Nov 2023, 01:17 AM IST

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