GAZA CITY: International efforts for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza ramped up on Friday, as tensions erupted in the West Bank where four Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire.
The death toll in Gaza rose to 832 on the 18th day of the conflict, with a five-year-old child among the latest deaths announced, along with a Hamas spokesman, and two women, one of them pregnant.
The World Health Organisation urged on Friday the creation of a humanitarian corridor in the besieged Gaza Strip to allow for the evacuation of the wounded. “The WHO is calling for the creation of a humanitarian corridor ... to reach various crossings and to help in the evacuation of the large number of injured people,” said Paul Garwood, a spokesman for the UN health agency.
Garwood said WHO representatives had been in contact in recent days with Israel as well as Egypt to discuss the possibility of setting up a corridor. He said that as of Thursday, the total number of people injured in Gaza since the start of the Israeli offensive on July 8 stood at 5,118, among them 1,561 children, 1,700 women and 203 elderly.
“The huge strains on the facilities inside Gaza, coupled with the challenges to get replenishments to those facilities, and the increasing insecurity on a daily basis is increasing the number of people who are getting injured, and they need better medical care,” he added. A further concern is attacks on health facilities and medical staff, with hospitals, clinics and ambulances being damaged or destroyed.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2014.