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World News

30,000 deaths in Gaza is 'stain on the world’s conscience,' says Christian Aid

by Donna Birrell

Christian Aid has said the UK government has neglected its legal and moral duty to do everything in its power to work to end the humanitarian suffering in Gaza.

The statement was made after it was confirmed 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since the attacks on Israel by Hamas on 7th October, which killed more than 1,000 people. The US defence secretary has suggested that 25,000 women and children are among the dead.

It comes after at least 112 people were killed while trying to access food from an aid convoy near Gaza City. Hamas claimed they were shot by Israeli soldiers, but Israel has denied targeting civilians, saying it only fired warning shots. An eye witness said some people had been run over by the convoy.

William Bell, Christian Aid’s head of Middle East policy and advocacy told Premier: “I think this is just yet another tragedy that's added to a catalogue of tragedies. These were people who are desperately hungry, who have been denied aid for weeks now, in some cases, months, we're not sure of the exact numbers, as large parts of the north have been reduced to rubble.

“We’re one of the few agencies that are still able to distribute some limited food and aid to the north, but people out there are in a really awful state, they are absolutely starving. We're getting reports now of children dying of malnutrition, and dehydration. These are really desperate people.

“We've seen scenes where trucks have come in across Rafah before where people crowd round and try and get food. This is because they are absolutely starving. We're hearing from our partners of people who've been reduced to eating animal feed - and in many cases, that's now running out. Disease is rife and people's dignity has been absolutely stripped away.

“Each time you think it can't get worse, unfortunately, it does”.

Seventy-five per cent of Gaza's population has been displaced in the region - that's the largest forced displacement of Palestinians since 1948. There are up to 1.4 million displaced people in Rafah and over 60 per cent of all homes in Gaza have been destroyed or damaged since the war began.

 “That’s why we keep asking that the international community, in our case, the UK Government, do all they can to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire,” Bell added.  

“Because without that, we're going to see more scenes that we witnessed yesterday with people desperately trying to get food off trucks.

“This latest terrible milestone is a stain on the conscience of the world.”

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