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UN slams Israel’s attacks on Gaza health sector as ‘sadistic’

Palestinian child wounded in Israeli bombardment is treated in a hospital in Deir al Balah, south of the Gaza Strip, November 3, 2023. (Photo by AP)

The United Nations has condemned as “sadistic” Israel’s attacks on the health sector of the besieged Gaza Strip, as the death toll in the war-torn Palestinian enclave exceeds 20,000 and the UN Security Council delays vote on desperately needed aid.

In a post on X on Wednesday, Francesca Albanese, UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, warned that the Tel Aviv regime’s attacks on the health system of the densely-populated Palestinian sliver had taken “the most sadistic forms.”

“Israeli occupation forces' assault on Gaza's health system is taking the most sadistic forms. Hospitals & medical personnel are sacred, especially at a time of great destruction, suffering & despair as this senseless war against the people in Gaza,” she said.

Albanese’s warning comes amid the regime's continuous missile attacks on hospitals and health workers across the Gaza Strip despite global outcry.

Israeli regime waged the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s atrocities against Palestinians.

Since the start of the US-backed offensive, the Israeli regime has killed more than 20,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 52,586 others. Thousands more are also missing and presumed dead under the rubble.

Earlier this week, Doctors Without Borders said six of its staff were among hospital workers and patients who were stripped, bound, and interrogated by invading Israeli troops after they took over al-Awda Hospital.

The hospital remains under military siege, leaving the entire northern part of the Gaza Strip without any type of medical service.

Late last week, the World Health Organization sounded the alarm about Israel's destruction of the Kamal Adwan Hospital in the city of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip amid reports that the regime's forces buried Palestinians alive at the facility's courtyard during the operation.

Life-saving aid in acute shortages in Gaza: UN chief

Separately on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on X that life-saving aid remained “severely” restricted in the war-torn Gaza Strip.

“Intense fighting, lack of electricity, limited fuel & disrupted telecommunications severely restrict the @UN's concerted efforts to provide life-saving aid to people in Gaza,” the UN chief warned.

Guterres’s remarks came as the UN Security Council again postponed voting on a resolution aimed at sending more humanitarian assistance into the war-ravaged enclave.

“Conditions to allow for large-scale humanitarian operations need to be reestablished immediately,” Guterres said.

UN reports ‘war crime’ in Gaza City

In yet another development on Wednesday, Israeli military forces had ordered immediate mass evacuation in Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

The order covers around 20 percent of the central and southern parts of the city, which was home to more than 111,000 people before the outbreak of the current war. It now includes 32 shelters housing over 141,000 internally displaced people coming from northern Gaza.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the notification of the forced relocation was announced online on Wednesday.

“The scope of displacement resulting from the order to evacuate is unclear,” the UNOCHA said in a report.

The UN agency, citing the UN Human Rights Office, also reported that Israeli forces had killed at least 11 Palestinian men and wounded an unspecific number of women and children in a residential building in Gaza City in “what may amount to a war crime.”

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