US has sent Israel thousands of 2,000-pound bombs since Oct. 7

GENEVA: Gazans are forced to live in bombed-out buildings or camps next to huge piles of rubbish, a UN spokeswoman said on Friday, condemning the “intolerable” conditions in the besieged territory.
Louise Wateridge of UNRVA, the UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees, described the “extremely dire” living conditions in the Gaza Strip.
“It is really intolerable,” she said in Geneva, via video link from central Gaza.
Wateridge, who returned on Wednesday after four weeks away from the territory, said that even in that time the situation had “deteriorated significantly”.
“Today has to be the worst it’s ever been.” “I have no doubt that tomorrow will be the worst it’s ever been again,” she said.
Almost nine months into the war between Israel and Hamas, Wateridge said the Gaza Strip was “destroyed”.
She said she was “shocked” to return to Khan Younis in central Gaza.
“The buildings are skeletons, if they exist at all.” “Everything is a ruin,” she said.
“And yet people live there again.”
“There is no water, no sanitation, no food there.” And now people are living again in these buildings that are empty shells,” with sheets covering the gaps left by the blown-out walls.
Without a bathroom, “people relieve themselves wherever they can.”
Watridge said the struggle to get fuel into Gaza and distribute it safely has had a major impact on the ability to deliver aid.
“Without fuel, the humanitarian response really grinds to a halt,” she said.
Wateridge was speaking from the guesthouse because there was no fuel to go out and do missions.
About 150 meters away, she said, a pile of about 100,000 tons of waste was piling up, with makeshift tents set up all around it.
“The population lives among them,” she said.
“With rising temperatures, it really adds to the misery of living conditions.”
Wateridge said that before the war, the sanitation units would clear all the garbage from the refugee camps to the landfills.
She said that appeals to the Israeli authorities for access to the landfills were often refused.
And a lack of fuel meant that even when access was granted, trucks couldn’t get in to clean up the mess.
Wateridge said food insecurity in the territory had a visible effect on the population.
“When I see my colleagues and friends here, they are visibly unrecognizable because they have had such an unsustainable access to food for so long, you start to age, you look unhealthy, your skin changes color,” she said.
Thursday marked the first medical evacuation from Gaza to Egypt since the Rafah border crossing was closed in early May when Israeli forces took over the Palestinian side.
The World Health Organization says 10,000 patients need to be evacuated from Gaza for treatment.
Wateridge said one of her UNRVA colleagues, Abdullah, was among those waiting for medical evacuation. Injured in the strike, his legs were amputated at the end of February.
He has since spent weeks at the devastated Al Shifa Hospital – once Gaza’s largest medical complex – when it was under siege.
And he spent two months waiting in a medical tent, “one day waiting to die,” she said.
“He almost lost his life more than once.”
Wateridge said she visited Abdullah in late April with a colleague who “gave him his blood on the spot to keep him alive.”
“It is not acceptable for people to experience this and to be treated like this.”

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