Tens of thousands flee northern Gaza on Thursday
The UN’s humanitarian office’s (OCHA) reported that more than 50,000 people fled Northern Gaza towards the south whereas in the north, hundreds of thousands are struggling to survive with minimal amounts of water and food.
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has opened two shelters and is now hosting 582,000 displaced Palestinians in 92 facilities in the south amidst overcrowdedness.
Israel does not ‘seek to govern Gaza’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave an interview to Fox News in which he said that the Israeli army will proceed with its offensive in Gaza until Hamas is “eradicated”.
“Nothing will stop that,” he added.
He also asserted that there will be no ceasefire unless the hostages held in Gaza are freed. Instead, he announced four-hour “pauses” in fighting in Gaza.
“The fighting continues against the Hamas enemy,” he said. “But in specific locations, for a given period of a few hours here, a few hours there, we want to facilitate the safe passage of civilians away from the zone of fighting.”
Human rights groups, however, have asserted that the “pauses” are not enough, and that an immediate ceasefire for humanitarian aid is the need of the hour.
243 more Palestinians killed in Gaza in 24-hour period
The UN humanitarian affairs office reported that two Israeli soldiers were killed in Gaza between Wednesday and Thursday afternoon in addition to 243 Palestinians.
More than 50 per cent of housing units wrecked
The media office of Gaza has revealed that Israeli attacks have led to the destruction of more than 50 per cent of housing units across Gaza — around 40,000 housing units.
Moreover, about 32,000 tons of explosives have dropped since October 7.
Al Jazeera reports that according to the government media, the “estimated preliminary losses in the housing sector and infrastructure” are approximately $2bn each.
War’s effect on Palestinian economy
The UN Development Program has released a report revealing that as a month has passed since Israel began its attacks on Gaza, Palestinian gross domestic product (GDP) was expected to have declined by about 4.2 percent in contrast to pre-war estimates for 2023 — a loss of about $857m.
It has been estimated that if the war continues for another month, the loss would increase to 8.4 percent of GDP, or $1.7bn whereas in third month it would rise to 12.2 per cent of GDP, or $2.5bn.
Additionally, around 390,000 jobs have been lost — 182,000 in Gaza and 208,000 in the occupied West Bank.
Poverty is also expected to rise 20-45 percent, depending on the duration of the war.
Credits: Al Jazeera