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WHO calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza due to humanitarian crisis

Ramallah, Mar 22 (Prensa Latina) A ceasefire and efforts to achieve lasting peace are the only solutions that can put an end to the sufferings that the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip have endured for a long time, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated.

The regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean of the WHO, Hanan Hassan Balkhy, warned in a statement about the spread of hunger and disease in the Gaza Strip. “I reiterate WHO’s calls for all parties to guarantee sustained access and unhindered aid to and through the Strip,” She stressed.

Hassan Balkhy highlighted her recent visit to the Rafah border crossing, which connects Egypt with Gaza and represents the only crossing not controlled by Israel, and noted that since the escalation of hostilities in the occupied Palestinian territory, Egypt played a key role in facilitating delivering aid to the Gaza Strip and providing free medical care and treatment to evacuated patients.

On several occasions, Egyptian authorities accused Israel of hindering the entry of large volumes of vital products for the population of Gaza in need.

WHO’s representative explained that the Egyptian Crescent has 1,500 trucks loaded with aid ready to cross over, and another thousand ready for Israeli inspection, which is an essential requirement to be authorized to cross the border. In this regard, she noted that Egyptian Crescent representatives criticized “the long and complicated inspection process and the ambiguous rejection criteria established by the Israeli authorities that continue to impede the flow of aid to Gaza.”

“At the El-Arish General Hospital in the Sinai Peninsula, I spoke with men, women and children with significant injuries ranging from broken bones to blast injuries and head trauma,” she revealed. “I met an 18-year-old girl who waited three months to receive treatment for her broken leg, and a mother with twins born in Gaza during the war, one of whom is now awaiting urgent heart surgery in Egypt.”

Hassan Balkhy indicated that she also spoke with “older people who suffered from chronic illnesses and who were unable to access treatment for many weeks before being evacuated; now they are now suffering the consequences.”