Senior Hamas official criticizes US, West’s calls on group to accept Biden’s Gaza proposal

PARIS: Palestinians displaced by the war in Gaza are living in “horrendous” conditions, with children sometimes going without food for a day and thousands sharing the same toilet, Oxfam warned on Tuesday.
Deadly Israeli bombardment and fighting have raged in the far south of the Gaza Strip near the border with Egypt in recent weeks, again displacing those who fled there in search of safety.
More than a million people have fled Rafah to other areas, according to the UN agency for Palestine refugees UNRWA.
Oxfam said more than two-thirds of Gaza’s population is estimated to be squeezed into less than a fifth of the besieged territory.
“Despite assurances from Israel that full support will be provided to the people fleeing, most of Gaza is deprived of humanitarian aid as famine inches closer,” the aid agency said.
“A food survey conducted by humanitarian agencies in May showed that 85 percent of children did not eat for a full day at least once in the three days before the survey was conducted,” he added.
Since Israeli troops launched a ground assault on Rafah on May 6, an average of eight aid trucks a day have entered it, Oxfam said, citing UN figures.
While hundreds of commercial food trucks are estimated to arrive daily, the goods on board include non-nutritive energy drinks, chocolate and biscuits and are often very expensive, he adds.
“By the time a famine is declared, it will be too late,” said Oxfam’s Middle East and North Africa director Sally Abi Khalil.
“Having tons of food for a malnourished population while brandishing caffeinated drinks and chocolate is excruciating.”
In an interview with French television last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed accusations of starvation in Gaza and said that everything had been done to prevent starvation.
Gazans consumed 3,200 calories a day, or 1,000 more than their daily requirements, he said.
Oxfam said families in some parts of southern Gaza, such as the coastal area of ​​Al-Mawasi, designated a “humanitarian zone” by the Israeli military, were living almost without water or sanitation services.
“Living conditions are so appalling that there are only 121 toilets in Al-Mawasi for over 500,000 people – or 4,130 people have to share each toilet,” Oxfam said.
Meera, an Oxfam worker in Al-Mawasi who has been displaced seven times since October, described the conditions there as “unbearable”.
“There is no access to clean water and people are forced to rely on the sea,” she said.
On Monday, sewage flooded a camp for displaced people in Khan Yunis after a sewage pipe burst, an AFP reporter said, with some trying to scoop up dirt from their tents with plastic bottles.
The war was sparked by Hamas’ unprecedented attack on Israel on October 7, which killed 1,194 people, mostly civilians, AFP reported, based on Israeli official figures.
The extremists also took 251 hostages, 120 of whom are still in Gaza, including 41 the military says are dead.
Israel’s retaliatory offensive in Gaza has killed at least 36,550 people, including mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

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