War in the Middle East. The evolution of the conflict between Israel and Hamas up to the minute

Medat Abbas, a spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Gaza health ministry, warned in a statement from Gaza to Loosa that Al Shifa Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in the enclave, was “reaching the end of the line” without essential fuel. its function.

“If a miracle doesn’t happen, a disaster will happen on Wednesday when the generators stop at Al Shifa Hospital,” Abbas tells Loosa. “There are 130 premature babies in this hospital, so it’s a humanitarian disaster waiting to happen”, says Al Shifa’s former director-in-charge.

According to the Israeli military, the hospital is one of the key points in an extensive network of tunnels that Hamas has built underground in Gaza over the past few years, and which it uses to launch daily rocket attacks against Israel.

On Tuesday, Israeli airstrikes hit the Jabaliya refugee camp near Gaza City. According to the Israeli military, the attack targeted Ibrahim Biari, commander of the Jabaliya Central Battalion, a Hamas military leader. According to Abbas, the death toll from the attack “may be higher than ever”.

Images of the aftermath of the attack show an entire block reduced to rubble, with multi-story buildings replaced by deep craters, around which dozens of Palestinians try to rescue those trapped under the rubble.

According to accounts from the Hamas-controlled ministry, children in Gaza are the main victims of Israeli bombings. 8,525 people have died since the attack began. Among age groups, children between 0 and 18 years were the most affected: 3,542. More than six thousand were injured.

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These numbers have been questioned by Israel and the United States, which consider them exaggerated for Hamas’s propaganda purposes.

The Islamist group Hamas fired thousands of rockets into southern Israel on October 7 and launched a surprise attack by infiltrating armed militias that took two hundred hostages.

In response, Israel declared war on Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007. It has been classified as a terrorist group by the European Union and the United States, which has bombed many of the group’s infrastructures in the Gaza Strip and imposed a total blockade. Area cut off from water, fuel and electricity supply.

The Rafah terminal in southern Gaza, and the only crossing to Egypt, would allow humanitarian aid to reach the Palestinian border.

Save the Children, a non-governmental organization that protects children’s rights, told Lusa that the number of children killed in the last three weeks is more than the total number of children killed in conflicts around the world since the last three years.

“This is truly a war against children. The number of children killed is horrific,” Alexandra Saih, director of advocacy and humanitarian policies at Save the Children, tells LUSA.

Saieh estimated that the death toll could rise in the coming days, given the lack of healthcare for injured children and difficulties in rescue operations.

“We have seen civil defense trying to pull children out of the rubble with their hands, so we think the current number is actually higher than the estimated number of child deaths,” he says.

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday that “Gaza has become a graveyard for thousands of children”.

“For everyone else, it’s hell on earth,” UNICEF spokesman James Elder said in a statement.

UNICEF warns that more than a million children face hunger and thirst – water production capacity in Gaza has dropped to 5% of the daily norm.

“Death in children – especially children – due to dehydration is a growing threat,” Elder said.

The United Nations has called for an immediate ceasefire and asked Israel to allow “safe and continuous entry of humanitarian aid, including water, food, medical supplies and fuel (…)”.

Save the Children is part of over 650 international NGOs

The Ministry of Health in Gaza describes its services as on the brink of total collapse due to shortages of medical supplies and fuel for generators: there is a shortage of antibiotics, all seven neonatal intensive care services in Gaza are without essential drugs, children’s breathing and electricity cuts “threaten the lives of newborns who depend on ventilators”. Including.

“In 12 years of working in the humanitarian field, I have never seen anything like this, to be honest, the number of children killed in such a short period of time and the deliberate blocking of humanitarian aid … is very difficult. Look at it,” Tsai says.

On Tuesday, the United Nations warned of the psychological impact of war on children in Gaza, of whom, before the conflict, three-quarters of minors in the region already needed psychological support.

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The main symptoms of children in Gaza include post-traumatic stress disorder, which manifests in nightmares and anxiety and suicidality.

“In the research we do, we realize that children don’t have the ability to believe or dream,” says Saih. “A ten-year-old child in Gaza has already been through at least three wars, and his whole life has been under siege. These are things that stay with children.”

Saieh says that mental health recovery is made even more difficult by the continuous cycle of violence in Gaza: “The sad thing is that this violence is happening again and again and it’s not stopping.” “It’s hard for these kids to imagine a different future.”

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