The Ministry of Health in Gaza reported on Tuesday that the death toll from the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip had reached 26,751, while 65,636 people had been injured. It said that the Israeli occupation had carried out 13 massacres against civilians in the strip, killing 114 and wounding 249 in the past 24 hours.
The ministry said that some of the victims were still trapped under the rubble or on the streets and that the occupation was blocking the access of ambulance and civil defence teams to them.
Also on Tuesday, the World Health Organization said that the controversy over UNRWA’s work was “distracting attention” from the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
The organization’s spokesperson said, “The current debate only serves to divert attention from what is happening every day, every hour, and every minute in Gaza. Let us not forget the real problems on the ground.”
He lamented that this debate about UNRWA was diverting attention from the nearly 27,000 people killed, 70% of whom were women and children. He also said that this “also diverts attention from the fact that an entire people is being subjected to relentless bombing, even in areas that were designated as safe a while ago.”
Moreover, 21 international non-governmental organizations expressed their dismay at the decision by 12 countries to suspend their funding to UNRWA at a time when Gaza was facing a humanitarian catastrophe. The organizations said – in a joint statement – that cutting off funding for UNRWA “will affect basic assistance to more than two million civilians, more than half of whom are children.”
They expressed their shock at the donors’ “irresponsible” decision to “cut off food supplies to an entire people at a time when they were calling on these countries to increase aid to Gaza.”
The organizations said that UNRWA had lost 152 of its staff members since the start of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and that 141 of its facilities had been damaged by the bombing.
One million displaced Palestinians sought refuge in 154 UNRWA shelters, or near them, while the UN agency continued its work in almost impossible conditions to provide food, drinking water, and vaccines to the residents of Gaza, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of the Islamic Jihad Movement, Ziad Al-Khanala, said that the resistance in the Gaza Strip would not enter any negotiations without securing a comprehensive ceasefire, the occupation’s withdrawal from the Strip, and a political solution.
At the same time, the Israeli newspaper Maariv quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying that the Israeli army would not leave the Gaza Strip and that his government would not release “thousands of terrorists,” as he called them.
On the ground, the Israeli army said that 26 soldiers had been injured in the past 24 hours, including 7 who had been wounded in the fighting in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army said that the number of its casualties had risen to 2,797 since the beginning of the war, of whom 1,283 had been injured since the start of the ground offensive on 27 October last year.
The occupation army said that 378 officers and soldiers were still receiving treatment and that 35 of them had serious injuries.
The number of Israeli officers and soldiers who had been injured since the beginning of the aggression was about 2,791, including 1,273 officers and soldiers who had been injured since the start of the ground offensive on the Gaza Strip on 27 October last year.
Meanwhile, the Al-Quds Brigades announced that they targeted two Israeli tanks and a D-9 military bulldozer, southwest of the city of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip. It added that its forces are engaged in fierce clashes with occupation soldiers and vehicles in the axes of progress, west and south of Gaza City.
The Brigades also said that it bombed with mortar shells a gathering of occupation soldiers and vehicles east of the Maghazi camp in the central Gaza Strip.