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10,000 Palestinian women killed in Gaza: UN Women

 Nearly 10,000 women have been killed in Gaza since war erupted six months ago and one child is injured or dies every 10 minutes, UN agencies warned on Tuesday, amid spiralling violence in the West Bank and concerns over a regional escalation of the conflict following Iran’s missile and drone strike on Israel.

“Six months into the war, 10,000 Palestinian women in Gaza have been killed, among them an estimated 6,000 mothers, leaving 19,000 children orphaned,” said UN Women, in a new report.

“More than one million women and girls in Gaza have almost no food, no access to safe water, latrines, washrooms, or sanitary pads, with disease growing amidst inhumane living conditions.”

Echoing those concerns, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) issued a new ceasefire call so that humanitarian relief can be brought into Gaza to help rebuild hospitals including Al Shifa, which has been “basically destroyed” after a recent Israeli incursion.

“The management is trying to get the emergency department cleaned (but) the work is just enormous to get just a cleaning done, let alone to get supplies,” said WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic, following a new UN health agency mission to the devastated medical facility in Gaza City on Monday.

 

 Only a third of Gaza’s 36 hospitals remain functional meaning that it is essential to “preserve what is left” of the enclave’s health system, Mr. Jasarevic insisted.

But needs remain massive with more than 76,000 people injured, according to the local authorities, and several UN agencies have repeatedly warned that amputations and C-section births have gone ahead without anaesthetic.

“Once again we’re calling really for the deconfliction mechanism to be effective, to be transparent and to be workable,” the WHO officer said, referring to the approvals system used by humanitarians in conjunction with the warring parties to try to ensure that aid convoys are not targeted.

Concerns remain over the deconfliction protocol after seven aid workers from the NGO World Central Kitchen were killed in Israeli airstrikes on 1 April.

But “more than half” of planned WHO missions between last October and the end of March “have been either denied or delayed or face other obstacles so they have to be postponed, so we really need that access”, Mr. Jasarevic insisted, amid repeated dire warnings from humanitarians about impending famine in Gaza.

A lack of staff, needles, stitches and other essential medical equipment have meant that “injured children often languish in pain,” in hospitals or in makeshift shelters, noted Tess Ingram, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Communication specialist.

Speaking from Cairo after her latest mission to northern Gaza where her UN vehicle came under attack, Ms. Ingram told journalists that it was notable just how many youngsters had been injured during intense Israeli bombardment, launched in response to Hamas-led terror attacks in southern Israel on 7 October.

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