The United Nations Relief Chief, Martin Griffiths, recently embarked on a visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, where he witnessed an escalating humanitarian crisis.

Griffiths reached out to Gaza families via telephone and described their suffering as “beyond devastating.” His conversations revealed that the residents of Gaza, particularly the children, were living through a nightmare.

The UN has been steadfast in its appeal for the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages.

According to the authorities in Gaza, Israel has killed over 3,450 children in its attacks on the besieged enclave since 7 October. Around 1,000 children are reported as missing and may be buried under rubble, awaiting rescue or recovery.

Infant deaths due to dehydration are now a growing threat in the region, largely due to severely reduced water production and limited access to clean water sources as a result of the crippling siege imposed by the Israeli military.

Gaza’s water production currently stands at a mere five per cent of the required volume, primarily due to the non-functioning desalination plants. This shortfall has left countless residents without access to clean, safe water, compounding the already dire situation in the enclave.

A UNICEF staffer’s four-year-old daughter in Gaza has begun self-harming as a coping mechanism for the daily stress and fear she experiences. Her mother, like many others, is primarily focused on keeping her children alive and does not have the luxury to address their mental health needs.

Recent efforts have seen a limited increase in the flow of humanitarian supplies into Gaza. On Monday, 26 trucks carrying much-needed aid entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported a total of 143 trucks entering Gaza between 21 October and 30 October.

Before the conflict, nearly 500 trucks, both commercial and humanitarian, would enter Gaza daily, including approximately 50 fuel trucks. Replenishing fuel supplies is now a matter of utmost urgency, as they are crucial for the functioning of essential services, hospitals, water desalination plants, and the transportation of humanitarian relief within Gaza.

The public health crisis in Gaza is aggravated by the alarming number of Israeli attacks on healthcare facilities, with the World Health Organization (WHO) documenting 82 such attacks in the region. On Monday, reports emerged that Isreal had bombed areas near two hospitals in Gaza city and northern Gaza.