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Israel-Gaza war live updates: Telecom services shut down in Gaza as 80 per cent of population is displaced

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7 December 2023, ABC News

Israel’s widening air and ground offensive in southern Gaza has displaced tens of thousands more Palestinians and worsened the territory’s dire humanitarian conditions, with the fighting preventing distribution of food, water and medicine outside a sliver of southern Gaza and new military evacuation orders squeezing people into ever-smaller areas of the south.

The United Nations said 1.87 million people — more than 80 per cent of Gaza’s population — have been driven from their homes since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, triggered by the deadly October 7 Hamas assault on southern Israel. The UN also says that all telecom services have been shut down due to cuts in the main fibre routes.

On Wednesday, the United Nations chief urged the UN Security Council to use its clout to avert “a humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza.

More than 16,000 dead in Gaza

Liana Walker

The Health Ministry in Gaza says 16,248 Palestinians have been killed and more than 42,000 wounded since the Israel-Hamas war broke out two months ago.

In the same time, around 1,200 people have died on the Israeli side, mainly civilians killed during Hamas’ attack.

The ministry said Tuesday evening that the death toll included more than 6,000 children and more than 4,000 women. The ministry does not differentiate between civilians and combatants.

The figures show a sharp rise in deaths since a weeklong truce between Israel and Hamas collapsed on December 1. Since the resumption of fighting Friday, more than 1,000 Palestinians were killed, according to the Health Ministry.

Israeli military says they are encircling Hamas leader’s house

Liana Walker

An Israeli army spokesman says Hamas leader Yehya Sinwar is hiding underground and it is the mission of the Israeli military to “find Sinwar and kill him.”

Israeli forces have pushed deeper into Sinwar’s hometown of Khan Younis over the past two days, heightening the focus on the Hamas leader seen as the mastermind of the deadly October 7 attack.

Sinwar grew up in the refugee camp of Khan Younis which over the decades evolved into a crowded neighborhood of the city. Mohammed Deif, the shadowy military leader of Hamas, is from the camp as well.

Earlier Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that troops “are encircling Sinwar’s house,” adding that “he can escape, but it’s only a matter of time before we get him.”

Asked later whether this meant troops were closing in on the Sinwar home, as some media had reported, Israeli army spokesman, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said: “The house of Sinwar is the area of Khan Younis.”

“Sinwar is not above ground; he is underground,” Hagari said. “I don’t want to elaborate where and how and what we know in terms of intelligence. This is not the place to talk about such things in the media. Our job is to find Sinwar and kill him.”

United Nations warns of ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ in Gaza

Liana Walker

The United Nations chief is urging the UN Security Council to use its clout to avert “a humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday that the fast-deteriorating humanitarian system now risks a total collapse.

He reiterated his urgent call for a humanitarian cease-fire. He warned that Israel’s bombardment of Palestinians in Gaza, who have no shelter or essentials to survive, will soon lead to a complete breakdown of public order.

Guterres wrote to the 15-member Security Council on Wednesday under Article 99 of the UN Charter for the first time since he took the helm of the 193-member world body in 2017. It allows the secretary-general to bring to the council’s attention any matter that he believes threatens international peace and security.

Guterres said the desperate conditions in Gaza and the breakdown of public order will make humanitarian assistance impossible. He warned that “an even worse situation could unfold, including epidemic diseases and increased pressure for mass displacement into neighboring countries.”

“The international community has a responsibility to use all its influence to prevent further escalation and end this crisis,” Guterres said.

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Article source: ABC | 7.12.23

2024-02-22 05:36:48.000000