BEIRUT — Gaza’s humanitarian situation has reached a “lethal low” according to UN experts as the water crisis deepens and the health sector collapses. The Hamas-Israel war entered its 10th day Monday while Israel continues to pound the Gaza Strip despite pleas by rights organizations to protect civilians.
More than 1 million people, nearly half of Gaza's population of 2.3 million, have been forced to flee the violence, the UN refugee agency UNRWA said on Monday. The massive wave of displacement came following Israeli orders last week to move from northern Gaza to the south amid a looming Israeli ground invasion.
“Nearly 400,000 are in UNRWA facilities — much exceeding our capacity to assist in any meaningful way, including with space in our shelters, food, water or psychological support,” UNRWA said in a report. It said that 23 of its installations across Gaza have been affected by the airstrikes and 14 UNRWA staff members have been killed.
The UN agency raised concerns about the spread of waterborne diseases as a lack of clean drinking water has forced Gazans to use unsafe water from agricultural wells.