Israeli-Hamas War: Death figure nears 10,000, UN warns of civil unrest

Rockets are fired from Gaza City towards Israel on October 7, 2023. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

The death toll in Gaza amid the ongoing Israeli-Hamas war has risen to 8,005, including 3,342 children, since the war began on October 7, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry reported on Sunday.

The attack when Hamas militants stormed across the Gaza border and went on the rampage in Israel, killed 1,400 people with 230 others kidnapped, Israeli officials said.

The United Nations warned on Sunday that “civil order” was starting to collapse in Gaza after thousands of people ransacked its food warehouses in the war-torn Palestinian territory, AFP reported.

The UN Relief Agency for Palestinian Refugees said wheat, flour and other supplies had been pillaged at several warehouses.

“This is a worrying sign that civil order is starting to break down after three weeks of war and a tight siege,” said UNRWA’s Gaza chief Thomas White.

One of the warehouses in the central town of Deir al-Balah had been used to store supplies from humanitarian convoys that began crossing into Gaza from Egypt on October 21, it said.

“Thousands of people broke into several UNRWA warehouses and distribution centres in the middle and southern areas of the Gaza Strip, taking wheat flour and other basic survival items like hygiene supplies,” UNRWA said.

Israel also imposed a total blockade on normal food, water, medicine and fuel deliveries into Gaza, with a first convoy of humanitarian aid entering only two weeks later.

Since then, UNRWA says 84 aid trucks have crossed into Gaza but aid agencies say the numbers are far too low. Before the conflict, UN figures showed an average of 500 trucks a day entering Gaza.

“Supplies on the market are running out while the humanitarian aid coming into the Gaza Strip on trucks from Egypt is insufficient,” said White.

“The needs of the communities are immense, if only for basic survival, while the aid we receive is meagre and inconsistent,” said the UN official.

Russian envoy summoned

Russia’s ambassador to Israel, Anatoly Viktorov, was summoned by the Foreign Ministry on Sunday in light of a recent visit by a Hamas delegation to Moscow.

The deputy director of the Eurasia Division at the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Simona Halperin, stressed that Israel views as serious the lack of unequivocal and clear condemnation by Russia of Hamas and Russia’s conduct in international organisations, The Jerusalem Post reported.

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