UN officials launched assessment visits to Gaza and its agencies will resume night-time aid deliveries on Thursday after a 48-hour pause following Israeli forces killing seven World Central Kitchen relief workers in a convoy delivering food in the enclave, where intense Israeli bombardment and ground operations continue. “The situation in Gaza is disastrous,” World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “Once again, WHO demands a ceasefire. Once again, we call for all hostages to be released, and for lasting peace.”

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said on Thursday that because of what happened to World Central Kitchen “we had to pause to regroup and reassess”, adding that a convoy will deployed tonight, “hopefully making it to the north”. Top UN officials have been warning that famine looms in northern Gaza as Israel continues to block and delay aid entry, especially in the north.

To date, Israeli armed forces have killed more than 30,000 people in Gaza, according to local health authorities, in response to Hamas-led attacks on Israel in October that left almost 1,200 people dead and 240 taken hostage. The UN Spokesperson said WHO teams reached two hospitals in Gaza City, carrying out assessments and delivering lifesaving supplies. In addition, a WHO team reported dire conditions following Israel’s two-week-long siege of the Al-Shifa Hospital, he said.

The team spoke with patients who were able to leave the health facility after the siege, with one saying “doctors resorted to putting salt and vinegar on people’s wounds for lack of antiseptics, which are nonexistent,” Mr. Dujarric said. “They described dire conditions during the siege, with no food, water or medicine available,” he said.

Almost six months into the war, humanitarian conditions are worsening, according to UN agencies on the ground. On his way to Gaza on Thursday, Jamie McGoldrick, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, reiterated that there is no safe place in the enclave. The Occupied Palestinian Territory “has become one of the world’s most dangerous and difficult places to work”, he wrote on social media before his departure.

Source:The UN

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