Over 1,300 buildings destroyed, 1,900 killed in Gaza
At least 1,900 Gazans have been killed in missile strikes on the densely populated enclave after nearly a week of fierce bombardment by Israeli forces, the Palestinian health ministry said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that the bombardment is “just the beginning” of Israel’s response to Hamas forces killing over 1,300 civilians a week ago.
“According to the Gaza Ministry of Public Works, 1,324 residential and non-residential buildings, comprising 5,540 housing units, have been destroyed,” OCHA said.
“Another 3,743 housing units have been damaged beyond repair and rendered uninhabitable.”
According to OCHA, an additional 55,000 housing units have been partially damaged.
According to the United Nations, almost 1,300 buildings have been demolished in Gaza thus far.
According to the UN’s humanitarian organization OCHA, “5,540 housing units” were demolished in those buildings, and roughly 3,750 additional homes were so seriously damaged that they were unusable.
Israel subsequently warned that 1.1 million inhabitants in the enclave’s north needed to flee to the south immediately in order to avoid a ground invasion.
“It is estimated that tens of thousands have fled” as of 1800 GMT Friday, according to OCHA.
“Currently, the precise scope of internally displaced persons in the Gaza Strip is unknown,” it said.
Citing the Palestinian health ministry, it said, “vehicles of those evacuating the north were hit, killing more than 40 people and injuring 150 others.
“These incidents prompted many people to abandon their evacuation efforts and return home.
“No safe corridors were initially provided for people to safely comply with the orders to move southwards. Hundreds of people, including families, had to flee on foot.”
OCHA said most people in the Gaza Strip were now without access to clean drinking water.
“As a last resort, people consume brackish water from agricultural wells, triggering serious concerns about the spread of waterborne diseases.”
OCHA said that since the start of hostilities, six water wells, three water pumping stations, one water reservoir, and one desalination plant serving over 1,100,000 people had been damaged by air strikes.
The full electricity blackout has brought essential health, water and sanitation services “to the brink of collapse” and exacerbated food insecurity, it said.