Amid increasingly urgent international calls for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza conflict, the casualty list grows by the hour.
In just one of the latest incidents, officials in Gaza say at least 15 people were killed and many wounded on Thursday when Israeli forces shelled a UN-run school sheltering Palestinians.
Antoine Juillard spoke to Euronews’ correspondent in Gaza, Valerie Gauriat. He began by asking her if there is the same extremely high tension we’ve seen in recent days, given we could see further Israeli intervention in Gaza.
Valérie Gauriat: “Yes, tension is extremely high, and if you look at the streets in Gaza they are totally deserted. It’s a ghost town. People are hiding, scared about the intensification of the bombing.”
Antoine Juillard: “Yes, with the empty streets, we can imagine people are taking cover, in whatever way they can.”
Valérie Gauriat: “Yes, some are hiding in their houses, if they have not already been destroyed. Others are sheltering in stairwells in buildings they’ve managed to get to. Others are in UN shelters. But in any case, there is a real fear of bombardments that can come at any moment and hit any location.”
Antoine Juillard: “You filmed images this morning that are very striking; can we talk about a humanitarian catastrophe, the words of a senior UN official today?”
Valérie Gauriat: “What we can say with certainty is that there is much suffering in Gaza, and with more bombing in sight, there are shortages. Food is running out, and clothing, and the families that are displaced have nothing. They have lost everything and supplies are hard to get hold of at the moment. Access routes are difficult to find as well, so it’s difficult to get aid through. Also, for the people who have been displaced, there are electricity outages. Today there is no power in the majority of buildings in Gaza CIty. Water is also running out, as water pipes were hit by some of the bombing, as well as distribution systems. Drinking water is mixed with sewage in the places where pipes have been damaged.”
Antoine Juillard: “From what you’re saying about the families in Gaza you’ve met, do you sense they are reaching breaking point?”
Valérie Gauriat: “Well this morning we went to a very dangerous zone in the north of the Gaza Strip, and there we met a family whose home has been completely destroyed, and who are now sheltering at a neighbour’s place. The despair is everywhere to see, stories of tragedy, they don’t know where to go. They don’t know what to do, how they should pray, and they’re really waiting for the world to find a solution to this crisis, which has become too much to bear for the residents here in Gaza.”