‘Threat to Health’ – UNRWA Says 67% of Water, Sanitation Infrastructure Destroyed in Gaza 

Displaced Palestinians fetch water in Rafah. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

“As infectious diseases continue to spread and temperature rises, lack of hygiene & dehydration threaten the health of people across Gaza.”

Infectious diseases continue to spread in the besieged Gaza Strip as 67 percent of its water and sanitation facilities have been destroyed or damaged by Israel’s war on the enclave, the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has said.

“Over the past 8 months in the Gaza Strip approximately 67% of water, sanitation facilities & infrastructure have been destroyed or damaged,” UNRWA said on X on Thursday. “As infectious diseases continue to spread and temperature rises, lack of hygiene & dehydration threaten the health of people across Gaza.”

‘330,000 Tons of Waste’

Last week, UNRWA warned of “catastrophic” environmental and health risks in Gaza amid an accumulation of waste in populated areas in the besieged enclave.

“As of 9 June, over 330,000 tons of waste have accumulated in or near populated areas across Gaza, posing catastrophic environmental & health risks,” UNRWA said in a statement on Thursday. “Children rummage through trash daily.”

The UN agency reiterated its call for an immediate ceasefire: “Unimpeded humanitarian access and ceasefire now are crucial to restore humane living conditions.”

‘Catastrophic Risks’ – UNRWA Warns of 330,000 Tons of Accumulated Waste in Gaza

Destruction in Rafah

Meanwhile, Ahmed al-Soufi, the mayor of Rafah in the south of Gaza, has said “Over 70% of public facilities and infrastructure have been destroyed in the Israeli onslaught.”

“Israel seeks to turn Gaza into an uninhabitable area by destroying the Rafah crossing and preventing the entry of humanitarian and relief aid,” the mayor told the Anadolu news agency, warning of a possible famine in the Palestinian enclave.

Last month, the Israeli army invaded Rafah and captured the crossing on the border with Egypt –  the enclave’s only window to the outside world, worsening the already difficult humanitarian conditions in the territory.

On Wednesday, the Israeli Army Radio said that the Rafah crossing was no longer usable after its Palestinian side in Gaza was destroyed by the army, according to Anadolu.

Videos shared on social media showed extensive destruction caused by the Israeli army at the crossing, with the main hall appearing leveled and surrounding buildings demolished, the report said.

Over 37,000 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 37,431 Palestinians have been killed, and 85,653 wounded. Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

Deadly Airstrikes – Multiple Casualties Reported in Israeli Attacks Across Gaza

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(PC, Anadolu)

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