GENEVA: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday said that a plane with much-needed medical supplies for the people of the Gaza Strip had landed in Egypt.
“A plane with WHO medical supplies to support the urgent health needs in Gaza has landed in Al Arish, Egypt – close to the Rafah crossing,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who heads the UN agency, said on X.
“We’re ready to deploy the supplies as soon as humanitarian access through the crossing is established,” he added.
Reiterating his plea to Israel to reconsider its decision to order the evacuation of 1.1 million people within Gaza, he warned: “It will be a human tragedy.”
WHO’s office in the occupied Palestinian territory said on X that the supplies that arrived at Al Arish will serve the urgent needs of more than 300,000 people out of the strip’s total population of over 2 million.
The Israeli army on Friday ordered all residents of northern Gaza to evacuate their homes and head to the south, despite warnings that this would lead to a humanitarian catastrophe.
In a dramatic escalation of Mideast tensions, a week ago Israeli forces launched a sustained and forceful military campaign against the Gaza Strip, a response to a military offensive by the Palestinian resistance group Hamas in Israeli territories.
The conflict began last Saturday when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel, a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea and air.
Hamas said the operation was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.
The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that has reeled under a crippling siege since 2007.