Gaza between story and denunciation, exodus from the north and risks throughout the Strip

Shortage of water and food, closed hospitals, operations without anesthesia and exodus among the corpses: the complaints reported by the international press

Stories from the Gaza Strip where operations would be performed by candlelight and without anesthesia. Stories of decomposing bodies that would be found along the road indicated by the Israeli military as a safe route for civilians following instructions to move from north to south in the Palestinian enclave. Stories of relatives killed along the way. Hospitals and bakeries closed. Self bread cannot be found, water is a dream.

Civilians wave white flags

The situation in northern Gaza is worsening as Israel tightens its grip on Gaza City, where the Israeli forces (IDF) believe the ‘heart’ of Hamas’ infrastructure is located, writes the Washington Post. Many civilians move on foot towards the south, waving white flags, as seen in images released by the IDF, after weeks of Israeli bombing. They were triggered following the terrible Hamas attack on October 7 in Israel, then the ground operation began and large areas of northern Gaza are reduced to rubble.

For five days the Israeli military announces timetables and instructions with which they guarantee “safe” travel to the south for civilianswhere Israeli bombing continues, but – the Post highlights – many families do not consider the “passage” safe, despite approximately half of the 1.19 million inhabitants of northern Gaza having already made the journey. Among those fleeing, the UN has confirmed, there are children, elderly people and disabled people. Most set out with little or nothing in tow. Yesterday, according to Israeli military data reported by the Guardian, as many as 50,000 people fled the north.

The dead on the escape route

“Last week my cousin was killed in a bombing on the road between Gaza City and Rafah – said 41-year-old Rawan Abu Hamda, a mother from Gaza City quoted by the Post – I am afraid of walking this long road with my daughters “. The BBC reports that people from Gaza who fled intense fighting in the north described their journey south. There are those who, reports the British broadcaster, say they have seen it decomposing bodies along the Salah al-Din Road indicated by the Israelis for the movement of civilians in certain time slots.

BBC Verify viewed videos, listened to testimonies and analyzed satellite images. The net He states that he has not found any videos or images of bodies along Salah al-Din Road in recent days and to have also verified the position (about three kilometers north of Wadi Gaza) of the images released by the IDF showing people walking along that road, some armed with white flags, ‘under the gaze’ of an Israeli tank.

Mahmoud Ghazzaawi, reports the British network, said he fled his home in al-Zeitoun, in northern Gaza, due to the intensity of the attacks. He said he left the house at noon and walked for five hours. “There are martyrs left on the ground,” he said. BBC Verify also analyzed satellite images of the Salah al-Din Road – up to Wadi Gaza – trying to define the level of damage caused by the conflict, including craters on the asphalt and damaged buildings on the sides of the road, while the IDF continues to point out do everything possible to avoid civilian casualties.

One bathroom for 600 people in the shelters

The displaced people in the south, the Post reconstructs, have taken refuge in hospital courtyards, in private homes, in UNRWA structures, all more than overcrowded and where the shortage of water and food is becoming increasingly worrying. According to the UN agency, in a center in Khan Younis, more than 600 people share the same bathroom and on average in UNRWA shelters there are around 700 people for each shower.

1.5 million are displaced in the South and the crisis in the North

According to the United Nations, more than 1.5 million Palestinians have been displaced since October 7. Two thirds of the displaced in Gaza have moved south of the area that Israel has asked to evacuate, but still others – writes the Post – are looking for safe places in the north. More than 121,000 people have moved to shelters in northern Gaza run by UNRWA, even if food distributions and health care have completely stopped. Not only. Last Saturday, according to the Hamas-controlled administration’s Gaza Ministry of Health, Israeli raids hit a school in an UNRWA program with a death toll of 15. The same ministry reports about 80,000 people crowding the two largest hospitals in Gaza City.

“The corridors are full of injured people. The emergency rooms are packed – reported Marwan Abusada, head of surgery at the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, in a statement to the press relaunched by the Post – There are high risks of the spread of pandemics among patients and displaced people who are no longer just outside”. Risk of rapid spread of infectious diseases also reported yesterday by the World Health Organization.

In northern Gaza, the Post reconstructs, there were 38 bakeries, ten were put out of action by Israeli raids, the others don’t have enough water or flour to stay open. “Israel has cut the basic necessities essential for survival – said Abu Hamda, the mother from Gaza City quoted by the Post – There are no bakeries that sell bread in northern Gaza. Supermarket shelves are emptythe vegetables have disappeared”. Abu Hamda spoke of people who “are looking for any form of water on the streets”, who “it can be bought on the black market at very high prices“. Most families cannot afford to bathe, but – he says – even for the few who can, the water is dirty.

90% of health facilities closed, amputations without anesthesia

Same fate for hospitals. According to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Ministry of Health, more than 90% of primary care facilities in northern Gaza have closed, including seven hospitals in the region. They closed 18 of the 35 hospitals in Gazahighlights the Guardian citing local health sources with stories from operations, even amputations, carried out by candlelight, without anesthesia and with vinegar as a disinfectant. And there are fears of major problems due to staff shortages with the movement of entire families to the south.

No fuel has entered Gaza since October 9th. It’s all so limited that, the Post writes, the largest hospitals in Gaza City are limiting care. On November 6, the newspaper continues, Israeli raids damaged the solar panels of the main department of al-Shifa hospital, reducing the hospital to relying only on a secondary generator reserved for dialysis and serious cases where oxygen is needed. The Palestinian Red Crescent has denounced a situation that has forced the al-Quds hospital to close the surgery.

WHO: dysentery for thousands of children

The WHO, the Guardian highlights, has reported more than 33,551 cases of diarrhea since mid-October, mostly among children under five. “We need fuel to manage the structures we support – said UNRWA spokeswoman Juliette Touma, quoted by the Post – You can say that fuel is used as a weapon of war”. And the lack of fuel also has repercussions on solid waste collection.

“The atrocities committed by Palestinian armed groups on 7 October were terrible, they were war crimes, as was the continued detention of hostages – denounced the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, in statements relaunched by the Guardian – Israel’s collective punishment of Palestinian civilians also constitutes a war crime, as does the illegal forced displacement of civilians“.