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Israel urged to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Palestinians inspect the ruins of a residential building for the Abu Muammar family after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, March 29, 2024.   -  
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Hatem Ali/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.


Palestinians in Gaza's southern city of Rafah, where some 1.4 million people — more than half of the territory's population — have sought refuge, are struggling to make ends meet.

They say the already trickling humanitarian aid is difficult to obtain, and foodstuffs at the city's market, overwhelmed with thousands of people, are too expensive.

"Only God’s will is what keeps us alive. The aid coming in is not enough, and the people are not fed. Everyone is deprived of everything," Hanaa Asdoudy, a resident of Rafah.

The top United Nations court on Thursday ordered Israel to take measures to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza, including opening more land crossings to allow food, water, fuel and other supplies into the war-ravaged enclave.

The International Court of Justice issued two new so-called provisional measures in a case brought by South Africa accusing Israel of acts of genocide in its military campaign launched after the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas.

The U.N. and international aid groups say aid deliveries have been impeded by Israeli military restrictions, ongoing hostilities and the breakdown of public order.

Israel declared war in response to a bloody cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7 in which 1,200 people were killed and 250 others were taken hostage.

Israel responded with a campaign of airstrikes and a ground offensive that have left over 32,000 Palestinians dead, according to local health authorities.

The Health Ministry in Gaza does not differentiate between civilians and combatants, but say roughly two-thirds of those killed are women and children.

Israel's military offensive has displaced over 80% of Gaza’s population, caused widespread damage and has sparked a humanitarian crisis.

The U.N. and international aid agencies say virtually the entire Gaza population is struggling to get enough food, with hundreds of thousands of people on the brink of famine, especially in hard-hit northern Gaza.

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