Conflicts & War

Israeli airstrikes near Gaza bakeries kill 25 as people queue for food

Geneva, Oct 20 (EFE).- At least 25 people have been killed in alleged Israeli airstrikes near two Palestinian bakeries where many people, including women and children, were waiting in line, according to the United Nations.

The airstrikes occurred on Thursday, killing 20 in Gaza City and five more in the An Nussairat camp, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its daily report.

“Damage sustained by two bakeries during airstrikes on Thursday further compounds the access of people to fresh bread,” the UN coordinator said, as war-torn Gaza is already dealing with acute food shortages due to ongoing bombings and a complete blockade imposed by the Israeli military.

The attacks followed a similar strike on Wednesday, targeting one of the six bakeries contracted by the World Food Program to supply bread to approximately 12,000 people. As a result, the bakery is no longer operational.

OCHA reported that most other bakeries are struggling to operate due to a shortage of essential ingredients, particularly wheat flour, which is expected to run out in less than a week. Currently, only one of the five mills in Gaza is functioning.

The blackout is also affecting food security, as it disrupts refrigeration, crop irrigation, and crop incubation devices, consequently harming various livelihoods, including poultry, cattle, fish, and other commodities.

Providing assistance has become increasingly challenging for humanitarian agencies and volunteers due to hostilities, movement restrictions, and shortages of electricity, fuel, water, medicines, and other essential items in Gaza.

The UN agency reiterated that Gaza’s hospitals are on the verge of collapse due to shortages of power, medicine, equipment, and specialized personnel.

The number of patients treated or awaiting treatment exceeds 150 percent of the Gazan healthcare capacity, with many patients lying on the floors and in corridors.

Vital procedures such as sterilization and dialysis may soon be halted. The situation is further exacerbated by the shutdown of over 60 percent of primary healthcare facilities, as reported by the UN agency.

Of particular concern are the 9,000 cancer patients in Gaza who depend on chemotherapy treatment for their survival, the UN.

The Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, the only facility providing chemotherapy, is struggling to remain operational and relies on a single electricity generator.

According to the Gaza health ministry, the conflict has led to significant losses, with 79 families losing ten or more of their members, 85 families with six to nine members, and 320 families with two to five members in the last 13 days of the conflict between Israel and the armed wing of the Islamist Hamas movement.

The Israeli bombings on Gaza have killed 3,785 people, 307 of them in the last 24 hours from Thursday morning.

More than 1,500 of the victims are children, while hundreds of bodies lay under the rubble, according to reports. EFE


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