Worsening weather conditions and intensifying Israeli attacks are exacerbating the already difficult living conditions of thousands of displaced Palestinians crowded into shelters in southern Gaza in a bid to escape the war.
Strong winds, torrential rain, and flooding are hitting displaced people living in tents, adding to concerns about the spread of disease in overcrowded shelters lacking proper sewage facilities.
The Palestinian territory’s Ministry of Health reports that infectious diseases are spreading. More than 360,000 cases of infection have been found among the 1.9 million people displaced by Israel’s military onslaught.
In its latest situation report on conditions in Gaza, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported cases of meningitis, chickenpox, jaundice, and upper respiratory tract infections.
The UN also reports that just 11 out of 36 hospitals in the enclave are functioning and able to admit new patients, although services are limited.
The Health Ministry has reported that patient occupancy rates are now reaching 206 percent in inpatient departments and 250 percent in intensive care units.
Israel resumed its military offensive on the Gaza Strip on December 1 after the end of a weeklong humanitarian truce agreed with Hamas.
At least 18,412 Palestinians have been killed and more than 46,480 others injured in relentless air and ground attacks on the enclave since Hamas attacked southern Israel on October 7, killing about 1,150 and taking 240 captives back to Gaza.