UN reports hepatitis outbreak in Gaza's shelter centers-Xinhua

UN reports hepatitis outbreak in Gaza's shelter centers

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-12-03 00:17:45

GAZA, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations reported on Saturday an outbreak of hepatitis among Palestinian refugees in Gaza's shelter centers amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement that the outbreak of hepatitis had been reported in the shelters operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).

The statement noted that there has been no improvement in the residents' access to household and drinking water in Gaza City and its northern regions, as most of the water production facilities remain closed due to fuel shortages, while some are also damaged.

Water primarily comes from small private wells and UNRWA wells, raising serious concerns about waterborne diseases due to water consumption from unsafe sources, it added.

The World Health Organization has also underlined the urgent need for protection, food, clean water, shelter, sanitation, and medicine for civilians in Gaza, warning that overcrowding resulting from mass displacement and unsafe living conditions increases the risk of disease.

Munir al-Bursh, an official with the Gaza-based Health Ministry, said the healthcare system in the Strip is experiencing a comprehensive collapse due to severe shortages of medical resources and life-saving equipment.

According to him, 26 hospitals and 55 health centers in the Gaza Strip have been closed due to Israeli attacks.

On Oct. 7, Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, firing thousands of rockets and infiltrating Israeli territory, while Israel responded with airstrikes, ground operations and punitive measures that included a siege on the Gaza Strip.

A total of 15,207 Palestinians have died as a result of Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict on Oct. 7, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said on Saturday.

About 1,200 people were killed in Israel, mostly during Hamas's attack on Oct. 7 that triggered the conflict.