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Israel’s ‘bombardment’ in Gaza preventing medics from helping civilians: Red Cross

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Israel’s “bombardment” in Gaza is preventing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other organizations from helping civilians injured or affected by the airstrikes, the ICRC said in a statement on Sunday.

“For people in Gaza, access to hospitals and other vital infrastructure has become very complicated because of the incessant airstrikes and major damage to roads and buildings,” Robert Mardini, ICRC’s director-general, said.

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Residents and journalists early on Sunday reported that several buildings and main roads leading to one of the largest hospitals in Gaza had been destroyed.

The Shifa hospital has been instrumental in treating dozens of civilians who were hurt during Israeli raids on the blockaded city.

Rescue search for victims at the site of Israeli air strikes, in Gaza City. (Reuters)
Rescue search for victims at the site of Israeli air strikes, in Gaza City. (Reuters)

“Actors on the ground must stop this cycle of violence. The rules are crystal clear: Civilians must be protected at all times. Sadly, that is not the case today,” Mardini said in the statement.

“The steady stream of bombardments is also preventing the ICRC and other humanitarian organizations from being able to help those affected and in need in Gaza,” the statement added.

At least 23 people, including children, were killed in overnight Israeli airstrikes, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

Rescuers carry a girl as they search for victims amid rubble at the site of Israeli air strikes, in Gaza City. (Reuters)
Rescuers carry a girl as they search for victims amid rubble at the site of Israeli air strikes, in Gaza City. (Reuters)

The total number of deaths in Gaza since the violence escalated on Monday has risen to 181, with the number expected to go up as rescuers continue to dig through rubble from destroyed buildings.

The ICRC said it was closely monitoring the humanitarian impact of the fighting and is communicating with both sides about the need to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law.

The ICRC has donated stretchers, hospital beds, and medical equipment to treat 150 seriously injured patients in Gaza, and is supporting the Palestine Red Crescent Society, according to the statement.

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