Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

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EACLucifer
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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by EACLucifer » Sat Dec 16, 2023 2:11 pm

shpalman wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2023 1:39 pm
Lew Dolby wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2023 12:13 pm
Meanwhile, the IDF has been caught on camera executing wounded and unarmed palestinians. So much so, the authorities have started an investigation. Poss (??) to kick the ball in the long grass.
Well the IDF also killed three Israeli hostages who 'had been holding up white flag', obviously mistaking them for unarmed surrendering palestinians.
Or suicide bombers, which have been used against the IDF during this operation.

It's a tragic f.ck up, and it should be investigated, and disciplinary action taken where necessary.

But there's a reason combatants who dress as civilians and engage in other acts of perfidy do not receive the status of prisoners of war, a reason it's a war crime to do so.

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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by Gfamily » Sat Dec 16, 2023 2:44 pm

EACLucifer wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2023 2:11 pm
Or suicide bombers, which have been used against the IDF during this operation.
Ah, I guess that's the context why the report I read said they were shirtless.
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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by EACLucifer » Sat Dec 16, 2023 3:01 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2023 2:44 pm
EACLucifer wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2023 2:11 pm
Or suicide bombers, which have been used against the IDF during this operation.
Ah, I guess that's the context why the report I read said they were shirtless.
Hand grenades fit in trouser pockets just fine, but the main point I was aiming for was that soldiers under that sort of pressure f.ck up quite often.

The preliminary investigation seems to indicate an ROE breach occurred.

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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by Grumble » Sat Dec 16, 2023 10:54 pm

There’s really no defending it.
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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by EACLucifer » Sun Dec 17, 2023 3:14 am

Grumble wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2023 10:54 pm
There’s really no defending it.
As far as I'm concerned their lawyers can try defending it in a court martial.

But that doesn't mean context is irrelevant, and the troops in the Shejaiya neighbourhood had come under attack from multiple suicide bombers - all dressed as civilians, of course - in the preceeding days.

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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by veravista » Sun Dec 17, 2023 8:24 am

Jesus, you are desperate

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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by EACLucifer » Sun Dec 17, 2023 9:11 am

veravista wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2023 8:24 am
Jesus, you are desperate
I'm sorry if important context is something that upsets you. Much better to just go with your preconceptions, right?

I'm also not sure which part of the fact that I think a court martial is appropriate you don't understand?

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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by Lew Dolby » Sun Dec 17, 2023 11:00 am

I don't think it's courts marshall that upset people, it's more the way you always want to find an excuse (context, this time) for IDF behaveour when many people think that what's supposed to be a professionally trained army ought to be better than the terrorists.
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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by Fishnut » Sun Dec 17, 2023 11:33 am

OCHA flash update 71 (16/12/23)

As always, paragraphs starting with a "-" are direct quotes. Where this is absent I am summarising information from the update. Other sources are linked in the text.

Communications
- The shutdown of telecommunications and internet services in Gaza, which started on 14 December, continues as of midnight on 16 December. This marks the fifth blackout since 7 October. As a result, this Flash Update provides limited updated information about the humanitarian situation in Gaza over the past 24 hours.

Hostilities and casualties
- Since 14 December afternoon, the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza has not updated its casualty figures, which stood at 18,787 fatalities. About 70 per cent of those killed are said to be women and children. As of then, about 50,589 Palestinians have been injured, according to MoH. Many people are missing, presumably buried under the rubble, waiting for rescue or recovery.

Displacement
- Areas encompassing nearly 30 per cent of the Gaza Strip (excluding the orders to evacuate the areas north of Wadi Gaza) have been marked for evacuation on the Israeli military’s online map that was launched on 1 December. Access to this information is impaired by recurrent interruptions in telecommunications and the lack of electricity.

- Since 3 December, tens of thousands of IDPs, who have arrived in Rafah governorate continue to face extremely overcrowded conditions both inside and outside shelters. With an estimated fourfold increase in population density, exceeding 12,000 people per square kilometre, Rafah governorate is now the most densely populated area within the Gaza Strip.

- Obtaining an accurate figure of the total number of IDPs remains challenging. According to UNRWA, almost 1.9 million people in Gaza, or nearly 85 per cent of the population, are estimated to be internally displaced, including people who have been displaced multiple times.

Electricity
Electricity is still cut off and has been since 11 October.

Health care
- Currently, only eight out of 36 hospitals across the Gaza Strip are functional and able to admit new patients, although services are limited. Only one of these hospitals is in the north, according to WHO. The two major hospitals in southern Gaza are operating at three times their bed capacity, while facing critical shortages of basic supplies and fuel. According to the MoH in Gaza, occupancy rates are now reaching 206 per cent in inpatient departments and 250 per cent in intensive care units. Additionally, these hospitals are providing shelter to thousands of IDPs.

WHO delivered health supplied to Al-Shifa hospital on 16 December.
Once the most important and largest referral hospital in Gaza, Al-Shifa now houses only a handful of doctors and a few nurses, together with 70 volunteers, working under what WHO staff described as “unbelievably challenging circumstances,” and calling it a “hospital in need of resuscitation.” The operating theatres and other major services remain nonfunctional due to lack of fuel, oxygen, specialized medical staff, and supplies. The hospital is only able to provide basic trauma stabilization, has no blood for transfusion, and hardly any staff to care for the constant flow of patients. Dialysis is being provided to approximately 30 patients a day, with the dialysis machines operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using a small generator.

The team described the emergency department as a “bloodbath”, with hundreds of injured patients inside, and new patients arriving every minute. Patients with trauma injuries were being sutured on the floor, and limited to no pain management is available at the hospital. WHO staff said that the emergency department is so full that care must be exercised to not step on patients on the floor. Critical patients are being transferred to Al-Ahli Arab Hospital for surgeries.

Tens of thousands of displaced people are using the hospital building and grounds for shelter. A multi-pronged humanitarian response is needed to provide them with food, water and shelter.
- On 16 December, Israeli forces withdrew from Kamal Adwan hospital after four days of besieging the facility. According to initial reports by media and video footage, an Israeli military bulldozer flattened the tents of a number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) outside the hospital, killing and wounding an unconfirmed number of people. The MoH in Ramallah has called for an investigation into the incident. According to the Israeli army, it has detained 90 people, and found weapons and munitions inside the hospital.

Al Jazeera has more information on this. Israeli forces are accused of crushing Palestinians using bulldozers in the hospital yard.
Witnesses told Al Jazeera that civilians were deliberately targeted.

“People were buried alive using bulldozers. Who could do that? All those who committed this crime should be brought to justice and taken to the international criminal court,” a witness said.
...
[Health Minister al-Kaila] also highlighted that the Israeli army destroyed the southern part of the hospital, and said 12 infants remain inside the incubators in the hospital without water or food.
Food security
- Between 3 and 12 December, WFP conducted a rapid food security assessment, following the significant deterioration of the food security situation in the south of Gaza, following the large influx of IDPs with the resumption of hostilities on 1 December. Very severe hunger levels were reported in 44 per cent of respondent households, compared with 24 per cent in a previous assessment conducted on 27-30 November. The proportion of IDP households reporting members going to sleep hungry at night increased from 34 to 50 per cent of all assessed households. The acute shortage of cooking gas has led to heavy dependence on firewood, wood residues, and waste burning, raising the risk of respiratory diseases. The food security situation in the northern governorates of Gaza is believed to be significantly worse. [my emphasis]

CNN is reporting that a US intelligence report has found that nearly half of the air-to-ground munitions used by Israel in Gaza have been unguided.
The assessment, compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and described to CNN by three sources who have seen it, says that about 40-45% of the 29,000 air-to-ground munitions Israel has used have been unguided. The rest have been precision-guided munitions, the assessment says.
...
experts told CNN that if Israel is using unguided munitions at the rate the US believes they are, that undercuts the Israeli claim that they are trying to minimize civilian casualties.
The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that as of yesterday that they have been able to confirm the deaths of 64 journalists and media workers. They also have reports of 13 journalists injured, 3 missing and 19 arrested.

Earlier this week the Guardian reported that International journalists are increasingly frustrated at the ban on entering Gaza.
Some international journalists have embedded with the IDF inside Gaza since 7 October. However, the IDF has forbidden contact with Palestinians on the ground and has insisted that reports be submitted for review before publication or broadcast.
...
Secunder Kermani, foreign correspondent for Channel 4 News, who has been covering the war since its start, said: “It’s hugely frustrating not to be able to document first-hand the awful scenes in Gaza. Of course there are many Palestinian journalists doing crucial and dangerous work, either producing powerful reports themselves or providing us with material.

“Everything in this war is so contested, being able to access Gaza independently would allow us to delve more deeply into the many competing claims and counter-claims, as well to get a better understanding of the internal dynamics within Gaza right now.
Cameraman Samer Abu Daqqa was killed by a drone strike on Friday and Al Jazeera is preparing to take the case to the international criminal court.

The French foreign ministry says of their workers died in an attack on homes in Rafah. Reuters reports,
The man was seeking refuge in the house of a colleague from the French consulate alongside two other co-workers and a number of their family members, the ministry statement issued late on Saturday said.

"The house was hit by an Israeli air strike on Wednesday evening, which seriously hurt our agent and killed ab
out 10 others," it said, adding he had later died of his wounds.

The statement said France condemned the bombing of a residential building.

"We demand that the Israeli authorities shed full light on the circumstances of this bombing, as soon as possible," it said.
Snipers have killed two women inside Gaza church, according to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. CNN reports,
The majority of Christian families inside Gaza have taken refuge inside the parish since the start of the war, the patriarchate said in a statement.

The two women, described as a mother and daughter, were walking to the Sister’s Convent, the patriarchate said. “One was killed as she tried to carry the other to safety,” it added.
Seven others were also shot and wounded in the attack.

“No warning was given, no notification was provided,” the statement continued.
“They were shot in cold blood inside the premises of the parish, where there are no belligerents.”

The patriarchate said that IDF tanks had also targeted the Convent of the Sisters of Mother Theresa, which houses 54 disabled people and is part of the church’s compound. The building’s generator, its only current source of electricity, as well as its fuel resources, solar panels and water tanks were also destroyed.

MP Layla Moran says her relatives are among those trapped in the church,
The Liberal Democrat says her family are "days away from dying" without access to water or food.
...
Members of Ms Moran's extended family - a grandmother, her son, his wife and their 11-year-old twins - are Christian Palestinians who sought refuge inside the church after their home was bombed in the first week of the war.

They have been staying on mattresses along with dozens of others in rooms in the Holy Family Church for more than 60 days.

"I'm now no longer sure they are going to survive until Christmas," Ms Moran told the BBC.

They have been keeping in touch with Ms Moran and other family members sporadically through WhatsApp messages and calls - though they have no internet and power is intermittent.

A sixth member of the family - a grandfather - died last month after not being able to get to hospital to receive medical treatment, Ms Moran says.

The five remaining members say they now no longer have access to food or water, and the last remaining generator - which was pumping water from wherever they could get it - has stopped working in the church.

They say soldiers entered the church compound in the last 24 hours and took over a room in a building.
...
Ms Moran says there has been no explanation as to why Israeli soldiers would target the church and no warnings or leaflets were sent to people sheltering there.
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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by Fishnut » Sun Dec 17, 2023 5:23 pm

From The Jerusalem Post
Israel should be sending Palestinian Gazans fleeing the fighting to refugee camps in Lebanon, with the entire Gaza Strip being emptied and leveled and turned into a museum like the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, Metula Council head David Azoulai told 103FM.

"After October 7, instead of urging people to go south, we should direct them to the beaches. The Navy can transport them to the shores of Lebanon, where there are already sufficient refugee camps. Then, a security strip should be established from the sea to the Gaza border fence, completely empty, as a reminder of what was once there. It should resemble the Auschwitz concentration camp," he said in an interview with Ben Caspit and Yinon Magal.

"What occurred on October 7 was a second Holocaust. Lebanon already has refugee camps, and that's where they should go," Azoulai said. "We should leave Gaza desolate and destroyed to serve as a museum, demonstrating the madness of the people who lived there."
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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by Fishnut » Sun Dec 17, 2023 6:18 pm

Israel has trialled flooding the tunnels in Gaza with seawater. According to the Times of Israel these trials have been 'successful'.
On Thursday, The Times of Israel confirmed that the tunnel flooding had indeed begun, albeit in a limited trial capacity. Still, it was understood to have been a success.
...
Asked about concerns that the tactic might harm the hostages — some of whom are being held in Hamas tunnels — IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said in his own press conference Thursday that the army operates based on intelligence it has regarding where it believes the hostages are located and that it will not take steps that harm them.
The plans were reported in the Wall Street Journal at the beginning of the month,
Because it isn’t clear how permeable the tunnels are or how much seawater would seep into the soil and to what effect, it is hard to fully assess the impact of pumping seawater into the tunnels, said Jon Alterman, senior vice president at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“It’s hard to tell what pumping seawater will do to the existing water and sewage infrastructure. It is hard to tell what it will do to groundwater reserves. And it’s hard to tell the impact on the stability of nearby buildings,” Alterman said.
...
Flooding could affect Gaza’s already polluted soil, and hazardous substances stored in the tunnels could seep into the ground, [Wim Zwijnenburg, who has studied the impact of war on the environment in the Middle East] said in an email.

Egypt in 2015 used seawater to flood tunnels operated by smugglers under the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, prompting complaints from nearby farmers about damaged crops.
...
Using water over a long period would force Hamas fighters out, [Mick Mulroy, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and officer in the Marine Corps and CIA] said. But “if you salted the water, it could compound the humanitarian crisis,” he said.
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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by Grumble » Sun Dec 17, 2023 6:53 pm

Lew Dolby wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2023 11:00 am
I don't think it's courts marshall that upset people, it's more the way you always want to find an excuse (context, this time) for IDF behaveour when many people think that what's supposed to be a professionally trained army ought to be better than the terrorists.
Especially when the officer in charge has given the order to stop firing
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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by Fishnut » Sun Dec 17, 2023 8:35 pm

Analysis by the New York Times has found that at least six cemeteries have been damaged or destroyed by advancing Israeli forces.
In Gaza City’s Shajaiye neighborhood, where heavy combat raged in recent days, Israeli forces razed part of the Tunisian cemetery to set up a temporary military position. A satellite image from Sunday shows armored vehicles and earthen fortifications on what were intact graves days earlier.

The Israeli military did not respond to questions by The Times about its reason for razing the cemetery and whether it has taken any precautions to protect religious sites in Gaza. The laws of armed conflict consider the intentional destruction of religious sites without military necessity a possible war crime.
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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Dec 18, 2023 9:52 am

Grumble wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2023 6:53 pm
Lew Dolby wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2023 11:00 am
I don't think it's courts marshall that upset people, it's more the way you always want to find an excuse (context, this time) for IDF behaveour when many people think that what's supposed to be a professionally trained army ought to be better than the terrorists.
Especially when the officer in charge has given the order to stop firing
Worth noting that the Israeli army is very different from the British army. The Israeli army's deployed troops are mainly conscripts and reservists (who are people who previously did military service) rather than being mainly full time professional soldiers as in the UK (where the TA is about a third the size of the professional army). I recall that something like 300 000 Israeli reservists were called up soon after the 7 October massacres. So its possible that the person who did the shooting was, for example, a reservist who did their military service a decade ago and has had refresher courses since then.

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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by Fishnut » Fri Dec 22, 2023 12:40 pm

OCHA flash update 75 (21/12/23)

As always, paragraphs starting with a "-" are direct quotes. Where this is absent I am summarising information from the update. Other sources are linked in the text.

Communications
Telecommunications services are slowly being restored following a shutdown on 14 December. This has impacted humanitarian and rescue efforts, and mean that the information in this update isn't as up to date as it might otherwise be. [It's also worth remembering that Israel is telling people where to flee from and to via social media and online instructions. These aren't accessible without a functioning telecommunications network.]

Hostilities and casualties
- Between 7 October and 19 December, 19,667 fatalities were reported by the Gaza Ministry of Health (MoH), which has not published updated tolls since then. The Gaza Government Media Office reported on the fatalities as of 21 December, although their methodology is unknown. Taken together, with the noted caveats, these figures amount to about 20,000. Of them, more than 8,000 are said to be children and more than 6,200 women.

Displacement
- Obtaining an accurate figure of the total number of IDPs remains challenging. According to UNRWA, 1.9 million people in Gaza, or nearly 85 per cent of the population, are estimated to be internally displaced, including people who have been displaced multiple times.

The Washington Post published a piece today on the mass displacement in Gaza.
The IDF used to call areas supposedly free from bombardment “safe zones”; it now refers to them as “safer zones.” According to a damage analysis of satellite data by remote-sensing experts Corey Scher and Jamon Van Den Hoek, at least 20 percent of buildings in the south have been damaged, including in Khan Younis and Rafah.

Rafah, which makes up just 17 percent of Gaza’s area, has become the epicenter for displacement. Before the war, Rafah was home to 280,000 people. But population density has increased fourfold as more than 1 million people — about half of Gaza’s population — have poured into Rafah, according to the United Nations. The forced displacement has pushed civilians into shelters that are “dangerously overcrowded,” said Arvind Das, Gaza team lead for the International Rescue Committee.

For food and water, four people are sharing what one person would normally receive in U.N.-run shelters, said Juliette Touma, a spokesperson for the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).
...
The agency planned to host 150,000 people in 56 shelters in a worst-case conflict scenario; now, it’s supporting nearly 1.4 million in 155 shelters, according to UNRWA media adviser Adnan Abu Hasna.

At some shelters, 1,000 people share one toilet, he said. The wait is hours.

For a shower, which 5,000 people share, “you have to wait days,” Abu Hasna said.

There are lines for water “everywhere” in the Strip, he added. And days-long lines for flour too. [my emphasis]
Electricity
Electricity is still cut off and has been since 11 October.

Health care
- On 21 December, The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that northern Gaza had been left without a functional hospital due to the lack of fuel, staff, and supplies.

- According to WHO, as of 19 December, nine out of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are partially functional, all located in the south. These hospitals are operating at three times their capacity, while facing critical shortages of basic supplies and fuel. According to the MoH in Gaza, occupancy rates are now reaching 206 per cent in inpatient departments and 250 per cent in intensive care units.

- On 20 December, Israeli forces raided the Palestine Red Crescent Society’s (PRCS) ambulance centre in Jabalya, north of Gaza, after a two-day siege. Reportedly, staff members and paramedics were arrested and taken to an unknown location. Some 127 people, including 22 injured patients who were being treated by staff, were inside the building. Contact was lost with the operations room and PRCS team in Gaza, due to the telecommunications blackout.

- Under such conditions, people are unable to avail of hospitals’ services. For example, 42 babies have been born within a school functioning as a shelter in Deir al Balah (Middle Area), according to UNRWA, instead of in health facilities.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
- On 20 December, UNICEF stated that children in Gaza are not able to access 90 per cent of their normal water use. The impact on children is severe, as they are more susceptible to dehydration, diarrhoea, disease, and malnutrition. Concerns of waterborne diseases such as cholera and chronic diarrhoea are particularly heightened given the lack of safe water, especially following the seasonal rains and flooding. Officials have recorded almost 20 times the monthly average of reported cases of diarrhoea among children under the age of 5, 160,000 cases of acute respiratory infection, and increases in other infectious conditions and illnesses, such as scabies, lice, chicken pox, and skin rashes. [my emphasis]

Food security
- On 19 December, according to WFP’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, half of Gaza’s population is starving in a situation of extreme or severe hunger, and 90 per cent of the population regularly go without food for a whole day. Only ten per cent of the food currently required for 2.2 million people has entered Gaza in the last 70 days. [my emphasis]

- Should the situation continue, it is precited [sic] that between 8 December 2023 and 7 February 2024, Gaza’s population will be the highest share of people facing high levels of acute food insecurity ever classified by the IPC initiative for any given area or country, since its establishment in 2004.
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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Dec 23, 2023 7:23 pm

The Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip has been unlike any other in the 21st century.

In response to the unprecedented assault by Hamas on Oct. 7, Israeli airstrikes and a ground invasion that began 20 days later have destroyed large swaths of the besieged territory, killed at least 20,057 people and displaced a vast majority of the population.

The most ferocious attacks have come from the air, flattening entire city blocks and cratering the landscape.
The Washington Post analyzed satellite imagery, airstrike data and U.N. damage assessments, and interviewed more than 20 aid workers, health-care providers, and experts in munitions and aerial warfare. The evidence shows that Israel has carried out its war in Gaza at a pace and level of devastation that likely exceeds any recent conflict, destroying more buildings, in far less time, than were destroyed during the Syrian regime’s battle for Aleppo from 2013 to 2016 and the U.S.-led campaign to defeat the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria, in 2017.
The Post also found that the Israeli military has conducted repeated and widespread airstrikes in proximity to hospitals, which are supposed to receive special protection under the laws of war. Satellite imagery reviewed by Post reporters revealed dozens of apparent craters near 17 of the 28 hospitals in northern Gaza, where the bombing and fighting were most intense during the first two months of war, including 10 craters that suggested the use of bombs weighing 2,000 pounds, the largest in regular use.

“There’s no safe space. Period,” said Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, who visited Gaza on Dec. 4. “I haven’t passed one street where I didn’t see destruction of civilian infrastructure, including hospitals.”

[…]

In a little over two months, Israeli air forces fired more than 29,000 air-to-ground munitions, 40 to 45 percent of which were unguided, according to a recent assessment from the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The bombing rate has been about two and a half times as high as the peak of the U.S.-led coalition’s effort to defeat the Islamic State, which at its height fired 5,075 air-to-ground munitions across both Iraq and Syria in one month, according to data from the research and advocacy group Airwars.

[…]

Officials at humanitarian and health-care organizations with lengthy experience in major conflict zones said Israel’s war in Gaza was the most devastating they had seen.
Tom Potokar, a chief surgeon with the International Committee of the Red Cross working in Gaza for the 14th time, said explosive injuries were responsible for all the wounds he and his colleagues at European Hospital in southern Gaza had been treating. Many patients had necrotic wounds requiring amputation due to the lack of supplies and equipment at battered and besieged hospitals in the north.
“For me, personally, this is without a doubt the worst I’ve seen,” said Potokar, who has worked during conflicts in South Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Somalia and Ukraine.

[…]

Zaher Sahloul, the president of MedGlobal and a doctor who worked in Aleppo during the battle for the city, said he believed that “what’s happening right now in Gaza is beyond any disaster that I’ve witnessed at least in the last 15 years or so.”

Sahloul estimated it will take decades to rebuild the health-care infrastructure destroyed in Gaza and the knowledge and expertise of the scores of doctors and other health-care workers who have been killed.

Preliminary data provided to The Post by Airwars suggested that strikes in Gaza were killing civilians at twice the rate of the U.S.-led campaign in Raqqa. Emily Tripp, the director of Airwars, said that the data they provided The Post represented “just a fraction” of the strikes they were currently researching in Gaza, which averaged about 200 strikes per week. In Airwars’s 10 years of work, Tripp said, the group had never documented more than about 250 civilian casualty strikes per month in any conflict.
“Make no mistake — U.S. operations in Iraq and Syria, especially in densely populated cities like Mosul and Raqqa, caused devastating civilian harm and destruction,” said Annie Shiel, the U.S. advocacy director at the Center for Civilians in Conflict. “But what we are seeing in Gaza, the level of death and destruction in this relatively short period of time, is absolutely staggering in comparison. Nowhere is safe for civilians.”

[…]

Several humanitarian workers interviewed by The Post noted that Israel’s campaign in Gaza, and its destruction of hospitals and homes, will likely create additional suffering, such as hunger, lack of shelter and the spread of communicable diseases, that could eventually kill more people than the bombs and fighting.

Sahloul said he believed the only explanation for so many attacks on civilian sites, which should have been protected by the laws of war, was that such attacks were intentional.
“People in Syria told me they can tolerate bombs and missiles, but if there’s no doctors in town and no hospitals, they usually leave,” he said. “So I would have to assume that if it is intentional, the goal is to force the population to leave. And when they leave, they don’t come back.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investig ... cord-pace/

Much more at the link.

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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by Fishnut » Fri Dec 29, 2023 8:16 pm

posted in error
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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by Fishnut » Fri Dec 29, 2023 8:40 pm

I've taken some time away from the news over the festive period but there are many who haven't had that luxury.

OCHA flash update 75 (29/12/23)

As always, paragraphs starting with a "-" are direct quotes. Where this is absent I am summarising information from the update. Other sources are linked in the text.

Hostilities and casualties
- According to the MoH in Gaza, between 7 October and 7:00 on 28 December, at least 21,320 Palestinians were killed in Gaza. About 70 per cent of those killed are said to be women and children. As of then, 55,603 Palestinians have been injured. Many people are missing, presumably buried under the rubble, waiting for rescue or recovery.

- According to the Palestinian Journalist Syndicate in Gaza, 103 Palestinian journalists and media workers have been killed in airstrikes since 7 October. According to the Gaza MoH, 311 Palestinian medics have been killed. According to the Palestinian Civil Defense, at least 40 of their members have been killed since the start of hostilities.

The Committee to Protect Journalists reports,
More journalists have been killed in the first 10 weeks of the Israel-Gaza war than have ever been killed in a single country over an entire year, according to CPJ data.
...
CPJ is particularly concerned about an apparent pattern of targeting journalists and their families by the Israeli military. In at least one case, a journalist was killed while clearly wearing press insignia in a location where no fighting was taking place. In at least two other cases, journalists reported receiving threats from Israeli officials and IDF officers before their family members were killed.
Displacement
- Preliminary estimates by humanitarian actors on the ground indicate that at least 100,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have arrived in Rafah over the past days, following the intensification of hostilities in Khan Younis and Deir al Balah, and the Israeli army’s evacuation orders. Already on 20 December, Rafah was estimated to be the most densely populated area in Gaza, exceeding 12,000 people per square kilometre. The new influx of IDPs has further exacerbated conditions related to the already overcrowded space and limited resources.

- Obtaining an accurate figure of the total number of IDPs remains challenging. According to UNRWA, 1.9 million people in Gaza, or nearly 85 per cent of the population, are estimated to be internally displaced, including people who have been displaced multiple times, as families are forced to move repeatedly in search of safety.

Electricity
Still no electricity

Health care, including attacks
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of 27 December, 13 out of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are partially functional; nine in the south and four in the north. The four hospitals that are partially functional in the north have been offering maternity, trauma, and emergency care services. However, they face challenges such as a shortage of medical staff, including specialized surgeons, neurosurgeons, and intensive care staff, as well as a lack of medical supplies such as anesthesia, antibiotics, pain relief medicines, and external fixators. Additionally, they have an urgent need for fuel, food, and drinking water. The situation of hospitals and the level of functionality depend on fluctuating capacity and minimum level of supplies being able to reach the facilities.

- The nine partially functional hospitals in the south are operating at three times their capacity, while facing critical shortages of basic supplies and fuel. According to the MoH in Gaza, occupancy rates are reaching 206 per cent in inpatient departments and 250 per cent in intensive care units.

Al Amal hospital has ben attacked for the second day in a row on 28/12 and the fifth time in the week, killing 10 people and injuring 31. An estimated 14,000 people are sheltering around the hospital. Maghazi Health Centre was hit on 27/12 causing a fire though no casualties were reported.

The Washington Post has investigated the claims that Al-Shifa hospital was a centre of Hamas activities.
Weeks before Israel sent troops into al-Shifa Hospital, its spokesman began building a public case.

The claims were remarkably specific — that five hospital buildings were directly involved in Hamas activities; that the buildings sat atop underground tunnels that were used by militants to direct rocket attacks and command fighters; and that the tunnels could be accessed from inside hospital wards. The assertions were backed by “concrete evidence,” Israel Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari said as he laid out the case in an Oct. 27 briefing.
...
But the evidence presented by the Israeli government falls short of showing that Hamas had been using the hospital as a command and control center, according to a Washington Post analysis of open-source visuals, satellite imagery and all of the publicly released IDF materials. That raises critical questions, legal and humanitarian experts say, about whether the civilian harm caused by Israel’s military operations against the hospital — encircling, besieging and ultimately raiding the facility and the tunnel beneath it — were proportionate to the assessed threat.

The Post’s analysis shows:
- The rooms connected to the tunnel network discovered by IDF troops showed no immediate evidence of military use by Hamas.
- None of the five hospital buildings identified by Hagari appeared to be connected to the tunnel network.
- There is no evidence that the tunnels could be accessed from inside hospital wards.
...
As the dust settled on al-Shifa, experts warned of the precedent it had set.

“I think there’s a risk that what Israel might be trying to do here is pre-excuse future operations against hospitals. There should be no presumption that hospitals are generally targetable based on what Israel has put forward regarding Shifa,” [Brian Finucane, a former legal adviser at the State Department and now a senior adviser at Crisis Group] said.

By the time of the Nov. 15 military operation, almost half of the major medical facilities in northern Gaza had been targeted or damaged in the fighting, according to a Post analysis of data from Insecurity Insight, a not-for-profit research group.
Food security
- The Famine Review Committee (FRC), activated due to evidence surpassing the acute food insecurity Phase 5 (Catastrophic threshold) in the Gaza Strip, warns that the risk of famine increases daily amid intense conflict and restricted humanitarian access. The committee added that, to eliminate the famine risk, it is imperative to halt the deterioration of health, nutrition, food security, and mortality situation through the restoration of health, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services.

- On 28 December, the MoH in Gaza stated that, within shelters, 50 per cent of pregnant women suffer from thirst, malnutrition, and a lack of health care, and that 50 per cent of displaced children and are exposed to dehydration, malnutrition, respiratory and skin diseases, severe cold and lack of vaccinations for newborns.

- Supplies of medical aid and food have continued to entered Gaza in the past days through Rafah crossing with Egypt. This included 110 trucks on 27 December and another 76 trucks on 28 December. These quantities remain well below the daily average of 500 truckloads (including fuel and private sector goods) that entered every working day prior to 7 October.

Some drone footage of northern Gaza showing the extent of the destruction can be seen here. Footage from the ground can be seen here. It is on an incomprehensible scale.
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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by Woodchopper » Sun Dec 31, 2023 11:27 am

International Court of Justice wrote: South Africa today filed an application instituting
proceedings against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ
of the United Nations, concerning alleged violations by Israel of its obligations under the Convention
on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the “Genocide Convention”) in relation
to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

According to the Application,
“acts and omissions by Israel . . . are genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent . . . to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group” and that “the conduct of Israel — through
its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities acting on its instructions or under its
direction, control or influence — in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, is in violation of its obligations
under the Genocide Convention”.

The Applicant further states that “Israel, since 7 October 2023 in particular, has failed to
prevent genocide and has failed to prosecute the direct and public incitement to genocide” and that
“Israel has engaged in, is engaging in and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the
Palestinian people in Gaza”.

South Africa seeks to found the Court’s jurisdiction on Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Statute
of the Court and on Article IX of the Genocide Convention, to which both South Africa and Israel
are parties.

The Application also contains a Request for the indication of provisional measures, pursuant
to Article 41 of the Statute of the Court and Articles 73, 74 and 75 of the Rules of Court. The
Applicant requests the Court to indicate provisional measures in order to “protect against further,
severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention”
and “to ensure Israel’s compliance with its obligations under the Genocide Convention not to engage
in genocide, and to prevent and to punish genocide”.
Pursuant to Article 74 of the Rules of Court, “[a] request for the indication of provisional
measures shall have priority over all other cases”.
https://www.icj-cij.org/sites/default/f ... -00-en.pdf

We’ll have to see what happens. Worth noting that Genocide is a special crime and it’s not clear that the government of Israel or its leaders would be found guilty. To start with, as mentioned in the above, a central criterion is intent, and that is difficult to prove.

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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by discovolante » Sun Dec 31, 2023 12:52 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2023 11:27 am
International Court of Justice wrote: South Africa today filed an application instituting
proceedings against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ
of the United Nations, concerning alleged violations by Israel of its obligations under the Convention
on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the “Genocide Convention”) in relation
to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

According to the Application,
“acts and omissions by Israel . . . are genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent . . . to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group” and that “the conduct of Israel — through
its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities acting on its instructions or under its
direction, control or influence — in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, is in violation of its obligations
under the Genocide Convention”.

The Applicant further states that “Israel, since 7 October 2023 in particular, has failed to
prevent genocide and has failed to prosecute the direct and public incitement to genocide” and that
“Israel has engaged in, is engaging in and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the
Palestinian people in Gaza”.

South Africa seeks to found the Court’s jurisdiction on Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Statute
of the Court and on Article IX of the Genocide Convention, to which both South Africa and Israel
are parties.

The Application also contains a Request for the indication of provisional measures, pursuant
to Article 41 of the Statute of the Court and Articles 73, 74 and 75 of the Rules of Court. The
Applicant requests the Court to indicate provisional measures in order to “protect against further,
severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention”
and “to ensure Israel’s compliance with its obligations under the Genocide Convention not to engage
in genocide, and to prevent and to punish genocide”.
Pursuant to Article 74 of the Rules of Court, “[a] request for the indication of provisional
measures shall have priority over all other cases”.
https://www.icj-cij.org/sites/default/f ... -00-en.pdf

We’ll have to see what happens. Worth noting that Genocide is a special crime and it’s not clear that the government of Israel or its leaders would be found guilty. To start with, as mentioned in the above, a central criterion is intent, and that is difficult to prove.
Yesterday I started listening to (but haven't yet finished) this podcast discussing problems with the definition of genocide and with international law generally: https://pca.st/episode/f3fa5738-e717-41 ... f3c3d0eede posting now before I've finished it in case I forget later.
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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by bjn » Sun Dec 31, 2023 1:57 pm

Anders Puck Neilson, military analyst and officer in the Danish military, has a video that discusses genocide and how it relates to Ukraine and Gaza. What is happening in Ukraine likely fits it, what is happening in Gaza likely does not, even if other war crimes are being commited.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9n77DPJ7AE

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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by discovolante » Sun Dec 31, 2023 3:28 pm

bjn wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2023 1:57 pm
Anders Puck Neilson, military analyst and officer in the Danish military, has a video that discusses genocide and how it relates to Ukraine and Gaza. What is happening in Ukraine likely fits it, what is happening in Gaza likely does not, even if other war crimes are being commited.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9n77DPJ7AE
I'm heading out shortly so don't have time to do a massively detailed or particuarly structured reply (so please bear this in mind!) but a few comments on this.

Firstly I'm not sure he says that what's happening in Gaza 'likely does not' fit the definition of genocide, rather that its less clear cut than the Putin example, but I may have misunderstood him.

I agree that if you are using a term with a legal definition, within a legal context, it's important to know what the definition is. For example, if Israel is not held to have committee genocide and people don't know what the legal definition of genocide actually is, they will end up asking the wrong questions about the decision.

I agree with his point that understanding the legal definition of genocide (as it currently stands) is also important so as to understand where it has a broader applicability than just 'killing lots of people', as with the acts Putin has been accused of/committed.

However I think this video is also an example of some of what was discussed in the podcast I linked to above, I.e. categorising genocide as an 'apex crime'. 'Yes it's really bad but it's not genocide' (actually I don't think the podcast episode puts it that way directly but that's an idea surrounding the argument I think). The podcast also pushes back against a notion of genocide as an event rather than a process. He does refer to other war crimes but I think overall the point stands.

In terms of why people are saying it's a genocide, I think it's fair to correct his perception that it's just about the killings. There is also plenty of criticism of forced displacement of people and destruction of cities etc.

I also have a bit of an issue with his overall approach to this. He refers to what genocide 'is' rather than 'what it is defined as'. Complaining about that is arguably a bit circular I suppose but I think there is a distinction. Laws change, and furthermore just because the law defines something as x that doesn't mean the definition can't be open to criticism.

By the way I'm not even trying to assess the definition of genocide, whether what's happening in Gaza is genocide etc in this post, just to be clear. Not that I have no views on it at all, but that's just not the reason for this post.

Turned out to be a relatively long post anyway but then I'm on my phone so maybe it looks longer than it is.
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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Jan 03, 2024 9:06 am

The Times of Israel’s Hebrew sister-site Zman Yisrael reports that Israeli officials have held clandestine talks with the African nation of Congo and several others for the potential acceptance of Gaza emigrants.

“Congo will be willing to take in migrants, and we’re in talks with others,” a senior source in the security cabinet tells Shalom Yerushalmi.

Yerushalmi quotes Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel saying at the Knesset yesterday: “At the end of the war Hamas rule will collapse, there are no municipal authorities, the civilian population will be entirely dependent on humanitarian aid. There will be no work, and 60% of Gaza’s agricultural land will become security buffer zones.”

Saying education to hatred will continue in Gaza and further attacks on Israel are only a matter of time, she added: “The Gaza problem is not just our problem. The world should support humanitarian emigration, because that’s the only solution I know.”

https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_ ... emigrants/


Seems unlikely that such a suggestion would be implemented .

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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by IvanV » Wed Jan 03, 2024 10:54 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2024 9:06 am
The Times of Israel’s Hebrew sister-site Zman Yisrael reports that Israeli officials have held clandestine talks with the African nation of Congo and several others for the potential acceptance of Gaza emigrants.

“Congo will be willing to take in migrants, and we’re in talks with others,” a senior source in the security cabinet tells Shalom Yerushalmi.

Yerushalmi quotes Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel saying at the Knesset yesterday: “At the end of the war Hamas rule will collapse, there are no municipal authorities, the civilian population will be entirely dependent on humanitarian aid. There will be no work, and 60% of Gaza’s agricultural land will become security buffer zones.”

Saying education to hatred will continue in Gaza and further attacks on Israel are only a matter of time, she added: “The Gaza problem is not just our problem. The world should support humanitarian emigration, because that’s the only solution I know.”in
https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_ ... emigrants/

Seems unlikely that such a suggestion would be implemented .
I thought it would be unsayable, to explicitly argue for ethnic cleansing. But perhaps the implication is now just so obvious that they don't bother not saying it now. For it has long been my suspicion that there is an implicit objective by the Israeli government to make life in Gaza sufficiently intolerable, that much of the population would leave if they could. On the BBC, we regularly see individual Gazans saying that there is nothing for them in Gaza anymore, they just want to leave. And I wonder to what extent those clips are enabled by the Israeli government, who would would be happy for journalists to film that, but not other things. With the fog of war, we cannot thereby conclude it is a common sentiment, but for all we know it might or might not be.

Perhaps it's not a coincidence in this regard that Netanyahu was saying the present military operation is not about to wind up soon - as many were speculating - but will continue at least for all of 2024. One purpose of that can be to make clear that better times are not coming any time soon for Palestinians. And talking about making life in the longer term in Palestine intolerable, by turning large parts of agricultural land into security zones. There's an implication that Gaza might be compartmentalised into blocks, like the West Bank, so you couldn't travel around, move goods - or build interzonal tunnels - without Israeli inspection.

Many Gazans would be streaming across the Egyptian frontier right now, if only the Egyptians would let them. And we can understand why the Egyptians don't allow that, because they could be accused of facilitating ethnic cleansing. Even though it seems terrible that Gazans are thus forced to remain and endure what is happening to them, they cannot facilitate ethnic cleansing.

It goes back to the foundation of Israel, when more extreme Zionists openly argued for ethnic cleansing. This is just a tiny bit of land, in comparison to the vast spaces ruled by Arabs. Why don't you just go away and leave this to us. And Israel came into existence just after the two world wars, when there had been plenty of border changes and ethnic cleansing on a far larger scale in Europe. In many cases populations were moved in response to border changes, sometimes not immediately, but later when conflict arose. The Sudeten Germans were kicked out of Czechoslovakia, 30 years after Czechoslovakia came into existence. Poland was effectively picked up and dropped over 100km further west, though conveniently something like a quarter of the population of Poland was now dead making the consequent population movements a bit easier. Finland lost 20% of its land. Greece and Turkey had population separation, and the Armenians suffered a genocide. Etc. In those times, within the lifetime of some of us, ethnic cleansing was seemingly normalised.

And then there was another round of ethnic cleansing initiated in Europe and its frontiers when the Soviet Union collapsed. It's mostly been on a rather small scale, affecting small places like Abkhazia, where the Georgian majority left. But the present Ukraine war can be seem in the same light.

We had ethnic cleansing in Nagorno Karabakh just a few weeks ago, when the Azerbaijanis moved in, and the entire historic Armenian majority very quickly left. This followed some ethnic cleansing 30 years previously, as the historic Azerbaijani minority left when Armenia took control of the area. A mixed ethnicity solution was unable to be negotiated to the satisfaction of either side. And so the "Nagorno Karabakh problem" has been "ended" by the completely unacceptable and unsayable method we strive so hard to avoid. There's a brief expression of dismay, but a recognition that in practice that's the end of it now.

Elsewhere, the Chinese continue their gradual but vast ethnic cleansing of the many very extensive non-Han areas they control. They move large Han populations in to overwhelm the historic population, and destroy the culture and languages of that historic population. And there are many other intractable ethnic conflicts around the world. We will likely see much more ethnic cleansing.

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Re: Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Jan 06, 2024 5:41 am

Unicef wrote:
Children in the Gaza Strip face a deadly triple threat to their lives, as cases of diseases rise, nutrition plummets and the escalation in hostilities approaches its fourteenth week.

Thousands of children have already died from the violence, while living conditions for children continue to rapidly deteriorate, with increasing cases of diarrhea and rising food poverty among children, raising the risk of mounting child deaths.

“Children in Gaza are caught in a nightmare that worsens with every passing day,” said Catherine Russell, UNICEF’s Executive Director. “Children and families in the Gaza Strip continue to be killed and injured in the fighting, and their lives are increasingly at risk from preventable diseases and lack of food and water. All children and civilians must be protected from violence and have access to basic services and supplies.”

Cases of diarrhea in children under five years of age rose from 48,000 to 71,000 in just one week starting 17 December, equivalent to 3,200 new cases of diarrhea per day. The significant increase in cases in such a short timeframe is a strong indication that child health in the Gaza Strip is fast deteriorating. Before the escalation in hostilities, an average of 2,000 cases of diarrhea in children under five were recorded per month. This recent climb represents a staggering increase of about 2000 per cent.

Since the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification warned of the risk of famine in the Gaza Strip in late December, UNICEF has found that an increasing number of children are not getting their basic nutrition needs met. About 90 per cent of children under two years of age are consuming two or fewer food groups, according to a UNICEF survey conducted on December 26. This is up from 80 per cent of children compared to the same survey conducted two weeks earlier. Most families said their children are only getting grains – including bread – or milk, meeting the definition of “severe food poverty”. Dietary diversity for pregnant and breastfeeding women is also severely compromised: 25 per cent only consumed one food type the day before, and almost 65 per cent only two.

The deteriorating situation is raising concerns about acute malnutrition and mortality breaching famine thresholds. UNICEF is particularly worried about the nutrition of over 155,000 pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, as well as more than 135,000 children under two, given their specific nutrition needs and vulnerability.

When combined and left untreated, malnutrition and disease create a deadly cycle. Evidence has shown that children with poor health and nutrition are more vulnerable to serious infections like acute diarrhea. Acute and prolonged diarrhea seriously exacerbates poor health and malnutrition in children, putting them at high risk of death.

The conflict has damaged or destroyed essential water, sanitation and health systems in the Gaza Strip, and has limited the ability to treat severe malnutrition. In addition, displaced children and their families are unable to maintain the necessary hygiene levels needed to prevent disease, given the alarming lack of safe water and sanitation, with many resorting to open defecation. Meanwhile, the very few functioning hospitals are so focused on responding to the high number of patients injured in the conflict that they are unable to adequately treat disease outbreaks.
https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/i ... adly-cycle

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