Gaza: Deaths And Devastation During Hostage Rescue Operation Show ‘Seismic Trauma’ Of Ongoing War

By United Nations

Photos: YouTube ScreenshotsThe scenes of devastation witnessed in the aftermath of Israel’s military operation to release hostages from the Nuseirat refugee camp proves that each day the war continues “it only grows more horrific” the UN’s top humanitarian official said on Sunday.

According to Gaza’s health ministry, more than 270 people including children and other non-combatants were killed during intense fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas militants in and around the Nuseirat refugee camp on Saturday, in the middle area of the war-torn enclave. More than 600 were reportedly injured with hospitals overwhelmed.

Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said in a post on X that the Nuseirat camp “is the epicentre of the seismic trauma that civilians in Gaza continue to suffer.”

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“Seeing shrouded bodies on the ground, we are reminded that nowhere is safe in Gaza”, he continued.

Saturday’s carnage followed on from an Israeli attack on a UN school building-turned shelter in the same area on Thursday, which left dozens dead. Israel said they were targeting Hamas militants in the strike. Local officials reported that 37 people were killed in the school building attack, including 14 children.

Scores of hostages still held

The Humanitarian Affairs chief said that even as the four hostages were reunited with their families in Israel thanks to the military operation “scores are still being held captive. All of them must be released.”

In a tweet on Saturday following news of the hostages being freed, UN chief António Guterres said he had sent messages to the relatives of Noa Argamani and Shalomi Ziv – some of whose family members he had received at the UN last week – to express his relief.

“I renew my appeal for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and for an end to this war”, said the Secretary-General.

Mr. Griffiths asserted that “all civilians must be protected. This collective agony can and must end now.”

The emergency relief chief added that seeing the video footage from the scene of shrouded bodies in Nuseirat camp was a reminder that nowhere is safe in the enclave, where Israel has carried out a nine months long offensive since the Hamas-led terror attacks of 7 October.

Palestinian militants took over 250 hostage in southern Israel that day, massacring some 1,200 people. More than 40 of the hostages are believed to have died so far with more than 110 reportedly remaining.

Healthcare ‘hanging by a thread’

“Seeing bloodied patients being treated on hospital floors, we are reminded that healthcare in Gaza is hanging by a thread.”

Video from Al-Aqsa Hospital in the aftermath of the fighting and bombardment shows numerous casualties lying on the floor while the director of Al-Adwa Hospital in Nuseirat reported that no morgue is available at the hospital to house the bodies of the dead.

Negotiations continue for a comprehensive ceasefire and hostage deal between Israel and Hamas but a United States-led proposal presented on 31 May has not been accepted by either side.

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