‘Catastrophic Risks’ – UNRWA Warns of 330,000 Tons of Accumulated Waste in Gaza

UNRWA has warned of “catastrophic” environmental and health risks in the besieged Gaza Strip. (Photo: via UNRWA)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“Unimpeded humanitarian access and ceasefire now are crucial to restore humane living conditions.”

The UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has warned of “catastrophic” environmental and health risks in the besieged Gaza Strip amid an accumulation of waste in populated areas in the besieged enclave.

“As of 9 June, over 330,000 tons of waste have accumulated in or near populated areas across Gaza, posing catastrophic environmental & health risks,” UNRWA said in a statement on Thursday. “Children rummage through trash daily.”

The UN agency reiterated its call for an immediate ceasefire: “Unimpeded humanitarian access and ceasefire now are crucial to restore humane living conditions.”

It earlier said Palestinians in Gaza “have gone through relentless suffering for over 8 months,” emphasizing that “Nowhere is safe. Conditions are deplorable. Food, water & medical supplies are far from being enough.”

Aid Mission Struggles

In its latest Situation Report, UNRWA said that between June 1 – June 6, out of the 17 coordinated humanitarian assistance missions to northern Gaza, eight (47 percent) were facilitated by Israeli authorities, three (18 percent) were denied access, four (23 percent) were impeded, and two (12 percent) were canceled, “due to operational or security reasons.”

Citing the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), UNRWA said that in addition, out of the 74 coordinated humanitarian assistance missions to areas in southern Gaza, the Israeli authorities facilitated 52 (70 percent), three (four percent) were denied, 12 (16 percent) were impeded, and seven (10 percent) were canceled.

“Many missions classified as impeded experienced extended delays, with some delays reaching up to nine hours at sensitive and insecure locations, placing humanitarian personnel at increased security risks,” the report said.

Staggering Death Toll

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 37,232 Palestinians have been killed, and 85,037 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

Day 251 of Gaza Genocide – Children Among Victims of Latest Israeli Attacks

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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