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The head of the WHO deplores Sunday’s attack by Israel on the Rafah displaced persons camp

GENEVA

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday lamented Israel’s Sunday attack on a displaced persons camp in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which killed dozens of people.

“WHO deplores the airstrike on Sunday evening in Rafah, which reportedly killed 45 displaced people hiding in tents,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Program X.

Tedros noted that the injured were taken for treatment to an “already overstretched” WHO-supported trauma stabilization facility, as well as other field hospitals in Rafah.

“As violence in Rafah escalates, nearly a million displaced people are once again seeking safety that does not exist in Gaza,” he said.

He stressed that the continued closure of the Rafah border, lack of fuel and assistance to get into and through Gaza, as well as frequent mission delays and denials, “have limited our ability to support the health system at a time when operations should be rapidly expanding to meet requirements and growing needs.”

He added that only one-third of Gaza’s hospitals are still only partially functioning and are struggling to meet needs due to lack of adequate supplies, equipment, fuel and exhaustion of staff.

“Open the passage to Rafah. Ensure mission completion on time. Protect civilians and healthcare. Ceasefire,” he insisted.

At least 45 people were killed, mostly women and children, and nearly 250 others were injured in Sunday’s Israeli attack on the camp.

The attack occurred near the UN Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA) logistics base in Tal al-Sultan, the Gaza-based Government Media Office reported.

Israel has killed more than 36,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on October 7 last year.

The military campaign has reduced much of the enclave of 2.3 million people to ruins, leaving most civilians homeless and at risk of starvation.

The latest attack came despite an International Court of Justice ruling that ordered Israel to halt its offensive in Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war between Israel and Hamas before it was invaded on May 6.

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