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Intense Israeli Military Operations in Gaza Result in Further Civilian Casualties and Humanitarian Crisis

By: ATN News

On January 15, reports surfaced of escalating civilian casualties and widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip as Israeli air, land, and sea bombardments persisted, coupled with ground operations and clashes with Palestinian armed groups. Simultaneously, Palestinian groups launched rockets into Israel.

According to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, between January 14 and 15, 132 Palestinians were killed, and 252 others were injured. The cumulative toll from October 7, 2023, to January 15, 2024, stood at 24,100 killed and 60,834 injured. In contrast, no Israeli soldiers were reported killed on January 15, but since the start of ground operations, 186 soldiers have lost their lives, and 1,113 have been injured, according to the Israeli military.

On January 15, the Secretary-General expressed deep concern over the violation of international humanitarian law, highlighting the critical need for an effective aid operation. The statement emphasized the necessity of security, a safe working environment, logistical support, and the resumption of commercial activity for successful humanitarian efforts.

The delivery of essential supplies faced significant obstacles, with only 24% of planned missions in the first two weeks of January successfully reaching their destinations north of Wadi Gaza. Denials primarily targeted fuel and medicines, impacting water facilities and health services. Humanitarian missions reported instances of detention, convoy attacks, and limited access, hampering their ability to operate safely.

As of January 15, only one of the three water pipelines from Israel was operational, with the Middle Area pipeline urgently needing repairs, requiring up to four weeks with sustained access. Telecommunication services remained shut down for the third consecutive day, posing challenges for accessing life-saving information and hindering first responders.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the Nasser Medical Complex faced overwhelming patient numbers, severely understaffed units, and challenges in accessing patients due to hostilities. The heads of WFP, UNICEF, and WHO collectively urged the opening of new entry routes, increased commodity checks, eased restrictions on humanitarian workers, and ensured the safety of aid distribution.

WFP's Executive Director highlighted the imminent risk of famine, emphasizing the need for swift supply delivery. UNICEF's Executive Director expressed concerns about children at high risk of malnutrition and disease, emphasizing the urgent need for medical treatment, clean water, and sanitation services.

UNRWA reported an increase in staff casualties, incidents impacting UNRWA premises, and direct hits on installations. Despite some aid entering through Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings, the situation remained dire.

Due to a communication blackout, details of fatal attacks during January 14 and 15 are limited. Israeli forces reportedly targeted residential areas, resulting in casualties. Incidents involving schools and sewage maintenance also contributed to the rising toll on civilians. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza demands immediate attention and intervention to alleviate suffering and prevent further loss of life.


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