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Gaza in 'unprecedented catastrophe': over 3,700 deaths, 1,524 are children

Aid trucks are expected to start entering Gaza through the Rafah crossing after an agreement by the US and Egyptian presidents.
KHAN YUNIS, GAZA - OCTOBER 19: A woman cries as she bids farewell to the bodies of Palestinians killed during Israeli airstrikes on October 19, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. Gazans are evacuating to the south as advised by the Israeli government, ahead of an expected Israeli ground offensive. Israel has sealed off Gaza, leaving the entire population without fuel, water or aid, and launched sustained retaliatory air strikes, which have killed more than 2,000 people and some 400,000 displaced, after a large-scale

Hundreds of aid trucks waited Thursday near the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing, prepared to deliver much needed humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip following a US-Egyptian agreement to open it.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini described an "unprecedented catastrophe" in Gaza Strip, with millions trapped in the southern part, hospitals nearing capacity and clean water running out. 

"An unprecedented catastrophe is unfolding before our eyes," Lazzarini said. "Gaza is being strangled and the world seems to have lost its humanity."

More than 3,785 people, including 1,524 children, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes since Oct. 7, according to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza, while 12,493 have been injured according to the Health Ministry figures. Hospitals across the territory are struggling to cope with the rising number of casualties amid a blackout and lack of supplies due to the blockade imposed by Israel. In the early days of the war, Israel imposed a "total siege" on Gaza, saying it will be eased once the hostages being held by Hamas are freed. 

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