“We only see the tip of the iceberg”: the seizure of the Rafah crossing threatens to worsen the famine in Gaza | EUROtoday

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Humanitarian employees in Rafah have denounced that the Israeli assaults in opposition to town “will have consequences throughout the Gaza Strip” and that The blockade of the entry of help accelerates the rising famine that devastates the enclave. “In Rafah people were hoping that they would reach a truce but it hasn't happened. Everyone is very afraid. They don't know where to go. In the surroundings of Rafah there is not a single place to shelter. “There are tents in cemeteries, on roads, in hospital courtyards,” describes Ghada AlHaddad, from the NGO Oxfam, in an online meeting of humanitarian organizations working in the area.

The Israeli army's orders to leave eastern Rafah towards the center of the Strip have forced humanitarian and health organizations operating in Rafah to reorganize your emergency plans again to be able to serve displaced Gazans. They point out that the current situation is much more complicated than previous operations, due to the lack of places that have not been devastated by the Israeli army.

A man carries a girl in his arms

A man carries an injured Palestinian girl in his arms in Rafah.HAITHAM IMADEFE

“We had been within the north they usually compelled us to maneuver to the middle, from the middle we went to the south, then additional south. Now they need us to go to the middle once more. There isn’t any secure place for the inhabitants, nor for us (the NGOs). How lengthy will we be right here? Depends on the Israeli military“says Helena Ranchal, from Doctors of the World.

More than a million Gazans displaced from other parts of the Strip are crowded into the city of Rafah, after Israel declared it a “secure zone.” Dozens of humanitarian organizations developed emergency structures in the city to be able to meet the food and health needs of the population. Now they are forced to restructure their emergency plans and move again in the face of the advancing Israeli army.

To this uncertainty is added the taking of the Rafah Passwhere until now humanitarian aid to the Strip crossed with a dropper. No food or fuel has been coming in for three days. “We are very involved in regards to the Rafah crossing, it was the one place by means of which humanitarian groups entered and left the enclave. Now it’s closed,” Ranchal warns. “Have medicines ready on the opposite facet of the crossing. He gas too “It is vital for everyone, not just for transportation, it is needed for hospitals to work, machines to operate,” he provides.

“The closure of Rafah represents the total collapse of the health system and humanitarian operations even before the total invasion of Rafah. The NGOs have to relocate who knows where, because there is no place to go,” warns Jeremy Konyndyk, of the group Refugees International. “A ground operation will have an impact throughout Gaza because in Rafah there are the remains of the entire Gaza health system. the Strip,” he laments.

If the full blockade of the Rafah crossing continues, the humanitarian organizations that present meals They estimate that they are going to be capable to proceed working between two and 4 weeks. The meals NGO Rebuilding Alliance, which works with the World Food Programme, stated they lack recent fruit and sweets to take care of a rising variety of famine and hepatitis sufferers. “The closure of Rafah places a great burden on us. We are trying to move our kitchens to safer areas, creating an evacuation center for our staff. On Tuesday we moved several kilos of food to a safer place but transportation itself has tripled in price“, described Rafeek ElMadhoun, nutritionist at Rebuilding Alliance.

“It is a vicious circle in which war causes injuries, famine worsens the situation of the wounded“People die daily who might be saved if they didn’t undergo from malnutrition,” explained surgeon Nick Maynard, who was returning from work in Rafah. “In the final two weeks we’ve seen very sophisticated infections that derive from insufficient vitamin,” he adds.

Although until now the famine was concentrated in the north of the Strip, where 30 people have died in the last month, health workers have detected that cases are increasing in the center and south of the Strip. “Many youngsters have amputated physique elements. They are so hungry that they can not stroll. These youngsters can not take their issues and go to a different safer place,” explains Alexandra Saieh of the NGO Save The Children.

La malnutricin completely weakens the immune system, aggravating the wounds from bombings in Gaza. “We solely see the tip of the iceberg. The lack of medicines to deal with malnutrition, the dearth of meals… If the operation continues it would worsen the famine,” warns Maynard. Thousands of amputees cannot heal due to malnutrition, their bones are exposed, their wounds do not close. They will die if they are not treated,” he concludes.