Aid access to Gaza’s north entirely blocked as Israeli attacks escalate in southern part: UN

UNITED NATIONS   -   Reports of hundreds of fatalities from the deadly Israeli bombing in southern Gaza over the weekend heightened deep concerns for civilians sheltering there, while UN humanitarian officials on Monday said that aid teams had only “extremely limited” movement and access to the north was “now entirely blocked”. The latest update from the UN aid coordination office, OCHA, confirmed rising casualties and devastation amid “heavy Israeli bombardment from air, land and sea”. “From the afternoon of (Saturday) 2 December to the afternoon of (Sunday) 3 December, at least 316 people were killed and at least another 664 injured in Gaza,” OCHA’s situation update reported, adding that an Israeli soldier had been reportedly killed in the enclave at the weekend and another had succumbed to wounds sustained previously. The Israeli attacks resumed following the breakdown of a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel last Friday, 1 December, that had allowed for the release of dozens of the approximately 240 hostages taken from southern Israel during the group’s cross-border operations. Echoing humanitarian officials’s concerns for civilians caught up in the violence, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNWRA, said that in Rafah city in the south people were being forced to flee against a backdrop of airstrikes.

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