The Palestinian enclave was already in a dire state. This latest war with Israel has made it worse, damaging the health and sewage systems, closing schools and displacing tens of thousands.
The nine-day battle between the Israeli military and Hamas militants has resulted in 17 hospitals and clinics damaged in Gaza, wrecked its only coronavirus test laboratory, sent fetid wastewater into its streets and broke water pipes serving at least 800,000 people, setting off a humanitarian crisis that is touching nearly every civilian in the crowded enclave of about two million people.
Sewage systems inside Gaza have been destroyed. A desalination plant that helped provide fresh water to 250,000 people in the territory is offline. Dozens of schools have been damaged or closed, forcing some 600,000 students to miss classes. Some 72,000 Gazans have been forced to flee their homes. And at least 213 Palestinians have been killed, including dozens of children, with more than 1,000 Gazans wounded.
At least 12 Israeli residents have been killed in the conflict. Damages to Israeli infrastructure include a gas pipeline, the pausing of operations at a gas rig and at two major Israeli airports. But the damage was incomparable to that in Gaza.
The level of destruction and loss of life in Gaza has underlined the humanitarian challenge in the enclave, already suffering under the weight of an indefinite blockade by Israel and Egypt even before the latest conflict.
[The New York Times]