As tensions worsen, the UN humanitarian agency reports that medical personnel in southern Gaza are pre-emptively digging graves in anticipation of a sharp rise in Palestinian casualties.
Israeli forces have escalated their aggression in southern Gaza, reporting the “eliminating numerous” squads of gunmen in Khan Younis on Wednesday.
This comes amid reports from Gaza’s Health Ministry spokesman, Ashraf Al-Qudra, that the occupation has now closed in on Khan Younis’ Nasser Medical Complex.
On Tuesday, the Health Ministry said the violent occupier launched an offensive targeting the hospital.
Israel fired “heavily on the upper floors of the specialised surgery building and the emergency building of Nasser hospital, dozens expected wounded,” the ministry said.
In a statement on Tuesday, Israel’s Prime Minister remarked that his army’s encircling Khan Younis was one of its “great achievements” since October 7.
This has sparked concerns among humanitarian organisations amid the healthcare situation already growing worse by the day.
According to the United Nations’ humanitarian agency (UN OCHA), Israel’s indiscriminate onslaught has left at least 63,354 Palestinians injured and 2.2 million battling the immediate risk of famine.
Yet, all 16 of the partially remaining functional hospitals are experiencing critical shortages of medicine, blood supplies, clean water, fuel and food.
The spread of communicable diseases, such as acute jaundice or respiratory infections, is also on the rise as internally displaced Palestinians flee en masse to Raffah City to escape Israeli shelling and find shelter.
Nowhere is safe
Even those seeking shelter in UN facilities are not spared from the aggressor’s violent expansionism.
Tuesday also saw the UN Relief and Works Agency Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, announce the death of six IDPs sheltering in one of the largest UNRWA facilities in Khan Younis.
“Terrified staff, patients and displaced people are now trapped inside the few remaining hospitals in Khan Younis as heavy fighting continues,” Lazzarini said via X.
However, many hospitals, especially in Gaza’s northern governorates, are incredibly short-staffed and unable to tend to the dire needs of wounded Palestinians adequately.
Medical missions to the besieged Strip are also targets of Israeli fire.
On Tuesday, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reported its headquarters in Khan Younis had been struck by Israeli artillery shelling. An unspecified number of IDPs sheltering in the PRCS’ premises were injured.
The renewed intensity of violence in Khan Younis has caused remaining medical staffers to begin digging graves within hospitals’ grounds.
According to UN OCHA, medical personnel are anticipating a surge in Palestinian casualties as nowhere in Gaza is safe for civilians to seek protection from Israel’s wrath.
According to an Al Jazeera report, the UN’s newly appointed Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza, Sigrid Kaag, recently experienced the dire living conditions induced by Israel in the besieged enclave.
During a very brief visit to southern Gaza on Tuesday, Kaag and her envoy were forced to evacuate after just a few hours, as reported by Al Jazeera. This was due to security concerns – primarily caused by Israel’s bombardment.