UN aid agency chief in Gaza visit says situation 'hell on earth'

The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said yesterday at the end of an overnight visit to the Gaza Strip that civilians there were enduring "hell on earth" as Israel's war against Hamas grinds on.

"Back in #Gaza, endless deepening tragedy. People are everywhere, live in the street, need everything. They plead for safety & for an end to this hell on earth," UNWRA chief Philippe Lazzarini said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, adding his agency was facing "an impossible situation".

Gaza's Hamas-run Health Ministry charged yesterday that Israeli forces were raiding a hospital in Gaza City, the biggest urban centre, in the north of the coastal territory.

The World Health Organization also said  that a patient had died in an emergency convoy en route to a Gaza City hospital, during repeated and lengthy Israeli checks.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the weekend that the U.N. health agency and its partners had managed to deliver essential trauma and surgical supplies to the Al-Ahli hospital and to transfer 19 critical patients.

But yesterday, he provided more details about the high-risk mission, saying on X, formerly Twitter, that the WHO was "deeply concerned about prolonged checks and detention of health workers that put lives of already fragile patients at risk."

"Due to the hold-up, one patient died en route, given the grave nature of their wounds and the delay in accessing treatment," he said.

Tedros did not say in his message who carried out the checks, but a WHO spokesman told AFP they took place at an Israeli army checkpoint.

His comments came as Israel presses on with its bombardment of Gaza after saying its campaign to destroy Hamas has left the Palestinian militant group on "the...

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