Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

RAFAH, Gaza Strip — The U.N. warned on Wednesday that it’s on the verge of working out of gasoline within the Gaza Strip, forcing it to sharply curtail reduction efforts within the territory blockaded and devastated by Israeli airstrikes since Hamas militants launched an assault on Israel greater than two weeks in the past.

The warning got here as hospitals in Gaza struggled to deal with plenty of wounded with dwindling assets. The U.N.’s high official confronted backlash from Israel after saying the Hamas bloodbath of Israelis on Oct. 7 that sparked the combating didn’t “happen in a vacuum.”

Well being officers mentioned the dying toll was hovering as Israeli jets pounded Gaza in a single day into Wednesday.

The territory’s Well being Ministry, which is managed by Hamas, mentioned greater than 750 folks have been killed over the previous 24 hours. The Related Press couldn’t independently confirm the dying toll, and it was not recognized if the depend included any militants.

The Israeli navy mentioned its strikes killed militants and destroyed tunnels, command facilities, weapons storehouses and different navy targets. It accuses Hamas of magnifying the struggling of Gazan civilians by hiding its fighters amongst them.

Hamas and different militants have launched unrelenting rocket barrages into Israel because the battle began.

The rising dying toll in Gaza — following a reported 704 killed the day earlier than — was unprecedented within the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian battle. Even larger lack of life may come if Israel launches an anticipated floor offensive aimed toward crushing Hamas.

The Gaza Well being Ministry says greater than 6,500 Palestinians have been killed within the struggle. The determine consists of the disputed toll from an explosion at a hospital final week.

The combating has killed greater than 1,400 folks in Israel — principally civilians slain throughout the preliminary Hamas assault, in response to the Israeli authorities. Hamas additionally holds some 222 hostages in Gaza.

The warning by the U.N. company for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, over depleting gasoline provides raised alarm that the humanitarian disaster may shortly worsen.

Gaza’s inhabitants has been working out of meals, water and drugs, too, underneath Israel’s seal. About 1.4 million of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have fled their properties, with practically half of them crowded into U.N. shelters.

In latest days, Israel let a small variety of vehicles with help enter from Egypt however barred deliveries of gasoline – wanted to energy mills — saying it believes Hamas will take it.

UNRWA has been sharing its personal gasoline provides in order that vehicles can distribute help, bakeries can feed folks in shelters, water might be desalinated, and hospitals can maintain incubators, life assist machines and different important gear working.

If it continues doing all of that, gasoline will run out by Thursday, so it’s deciding tips on how to ration it, UNRWA spokeswoman Tamara Alrifai instructed The Related Press.

“Can we give for the incubators or the bakeries? Can we bump clear water, or can we ship vehicles to the borders?” she mentioned. “It’s an excruciating choice.”

Greater than half of Gaza’s major healthcare services and roughly a 3rd of its hospitals have stopped functioning, the World Well being Group mentioned.

At Gaza Metropolis’s al-Shifa Hospital, the dearth of medication and clear water have led to “alarming” an infection charges, the group Medical doctors With out Borders mentioned. Amputations are sometimes required to forestall an infection from spreading within the wounded, it mentioned.

One surgeon with the group described amputating half the foot of a 9-year-old boy with “slight sedation” on a hallway flooring as his mom and sister watched.

A strike Wednesday within the Nusseirat refugee camp killed the spouse, son and younger daughter of one in all Al-Jazeera TV’s chief correspondents, Wael Dahdouh. Footage aired on the Qatari primarily based community confirmed the veteran journalist weeping over his son’s physique on a hospital flooring.

“They take vengeance on us by our youngsters?” he sobbed.

Throughout Gaza, employees clambered over mounds of wreckage to tug out useless and injured. One employee lifted a useless child out of the shattered concrete and rebar of 15 properties hit within the southern metropolis of Rafah.

In a swath of Gaza Metropolis’s Yarmouk neighborhood diminished to splinters, a bleeding man hugged a toddler after each have been dug out of the rubble. A bakery in Deir al-Balah was flattened. In a close-by hospital, medics handled a boy with a mangled, half-severed leg.

The battle threatened to unfold throughout the area. The Israeli navy mentioned it struck navy websites in Syria in response to rocket launches from the nation. Syrian state media mentioned eight troopers have been killed and 7 wounded.

Strikes additionally hit the airports of the Syrian metropolis of Aleppo and Damascus, in an obvious try to forestall arms shipments from Iran to militant teams, together with Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Israel has been exchanging close to every day hearth with Iranian-backed Hezbollah throughout the Lebanese border.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah met with high Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad officers of their first reported assembly because the struggle began. Such a gathering may sign coordination between the teams, as Hezbollah officers warned Israel towards launching a floor offensive in Gaza.

Israeli navy spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari mentioned Iran was serving to Hamas with intelligence and “whipping up incitement towards Israel internationally.” He mentioned Iranian proxies have been additionally working towards Israel from Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.

Hamas’ shock rampage in southern Israel surprised the nation with its brutality, its unprecedented toll and the failure of intelligence companies to realize it was coming. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned in a speech Wednesday evening that he will likely be held accountable, however solely after Hamas was defeated.

“We are going to unravel what occurred,” he mentioned. “This debacle will likely be investigated. Everybody must give solutions, together with me.”

Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Gilad Erdan, mentioned his nation will cease issuing visas to U.N. personnel after U.N. Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres mentioned that Hamas’ assault “didn’t occur in a vacuum.” It was unclear what the motion, if applied, would imply for U.N. help personnel working in Gaza and the West Financial institution.

“It’s time to show them a lesson,” Erdan instructed Military Radio, accusing the U.N. chief of justifying a slaughter.

The U.N. chief instructed the Safety Council on Tuesday that “the Palestinian folks have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.” Guterres mentioned “the grievances of the Palestinian folks can not justify the appalling assaults by Hamas. And people appalling assaults can not justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian folks.”

Guterres mentioned Wednesday he’s “shocked” on the misinterpretation of his assertion “as if I used to be justifying acts of terror by Hamas.”

“That is false. It was the alternative,” he instructed reporters.


Magdy reported from Cairo and Keath from Athens. Related Press writers Wafaa Shurafa in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip; Aamer Madhani in Washington; Amy Teibel in Jerusalem; Edith M. Lederer on the United Nations; Sarah El Deeb in Beirut; and Brian Melley in London contributed.


Discover extra of AP’s protection at

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