As diplomatic activity to reach a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip approaches fever pitch, there appears to be little real hope of an end to the conflict on the ground.
The scorched ruins of a bombed aid warehouse at the UN headquarters in Gaza still smoulder a day after being set ablaze by Israeli shells. The destruction only adds to what aid groups say is a full-blown humanitarian crisis, increasing the tension between Israel and the international community even as diplomats talk of progress toward a ceasefire. John Ging is Gaza’s Director of UN Relief and Works Agency UNWRA. “It’s a huge tragedy for the people who were waiting for this aid to come to our shelters, to our food distribution, to our health centres,” he said. “But they should be reassured, we are already up and running again. We are setting up new warehouses, because for sure, we have to continue to help the people here.” In Gaza the Quds hospital is now a burned out husk. The building had to be evacuated when it was set alight by a tank shell, the sick and wounded are being tended wherever shelter can be found. Israeli artillery fire has continued, even during the daily humanitarian three hour lull. Health officials in Hamas controlled Gaza say 1,105 Palestinians have died and more than 5,000 have been wounded since the offensive began. Militants continue to fire rockets into Israel. Thirteen Israelis have died, three of them civilians. Two hundred and thirty three soldiers have been injured.