WHO calls for humanitarian corridor in Gaza
A Palestinian youth walks on debris as he inspects damages following an Israeli air strike in Gaza AFP/Mohammed Abed

CAIRO: The World Health Organization (WHO) Thursday evening called for the creation of a humanitarian corridor in Gaza, expressing its concern over the deterioration of the living conditions there due to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The humanitarian corridor should extend to protect the safe passage of patients to access crossing points and exit outside the Gaza Strip for medical care. Likewise, the transport of essential aid should be facilitated at crossing points between the Gaza Strip and Israel and neighboring countries,” the WHO said in a statement.

“Four hospitals, 12 clinics, 10 ambulances, a specialized center for the disabled and two water desalinization centers have been damaged,” the statement added.

The organization also warned of the shortage of electricity in Gaza, as currently the coastal enclave is receiving only half of its needs.

More than 800 Palestinians have been killed and 5,200 injured since Israel started its current military operation against Gaza on July 8, a Palestinian medical official said Thursday evening according to the Egyptian state-run MENA.

Also, more than 100,000 people have been displaced in U.N. shelters and half of those 50,000 require immediate relief, according to the WHO statement.

The WHO statement coincides with Egypt opening the Rafah border crossing in the Sinai for receiving injured Palestinians and allowing humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.

Sixty-one Palestinians with injuries inflicted from the latest violence in Gaza are currently being treated in Israeli hospitals, according to Egyptian Ministry of Health deputy Tarek Khater in comments to Misday website Friday. He added three Palestinian patients being treated at the Arish Public Hospital in the Sinai have died of their wounds.

Around 6,815 people have crossed both sides of the Rafah border crossing since it was opened on July 10, MENA reported according to latest data issued by Rafah border authorities Thursday. The data showed 1,217 Palestinians traveled into Gaza, while 2,491 entered Egypt from the crossing.

Friday, an Egyptian-Arab aid convoy headed to Gaza carrying medicine, food and volunteers, Youm7 reported. The convoy includes 20 vehicles of medicine and supplies from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco.

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