GENEVA - The Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip has displaced most of the enclave's 2.3 million people and caused a grave humanitarian crisis including acute shortages of food, water and medicine.

Here are some key facts about the conditions in the Palestinian territory:


An estimated 1.7 million people, more than 75% of Gaza's population, have been displaced, many of them forced to move repeatedly across the enclave, according to the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA).

Israel last month intensified its bombardment of Rafah, a town in southern Gaza on the border with Egypt, where about 1.5 million people are estimated to be crammed.

Most people there have fled their homes further north to escape Israel's military assault, which was launched in the wake of a deadly rampage by Hamas militants in southern Israel on Oct. 7.


The World Health Organization says most of the enclave's 36 hospitals have stopped working. Only 12 are partially functioning - six in the north and six in the south - and one, the Al Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, is considered to be minimally functional.

Dr. Richard Peeperkorn, WHO representative for Gaza and the West Bank, said on Tuesday that more than 8,000 people needed to be referred outside Gaza for medical treatment.

He said some 6,000 people needed to be referred for war-related injuries and ailments, while 2,000 others suffered from cancer or serious chronic illnesses.

On March 3, WHO and its partners visited the Kamal Adwan and Al-Awda hospitals in northern Gaza to deliver supplies for the first time since the start of hostilities. Peeperkorn described the situation at Al-Awda Hospital as "particularly appalling" because one of the buildings had been destroyed.

"Both hospitals we visited represent the overall health system in Gaza - struggling to survive with small doses of aid keeping them barely functional enough to serve those most in need," said Dr Ahmed Dahir, head of the WHO Gaza sub-office.

"Both hospitals faced shortages of fuel, power, and specialized staff. Trauma cases constituted the majority of admissions."

At least 15 children have died over the past few days from malnutrition and dehydration at Kamal Adwan hospital in northern Gaza, the health ministry in Gaza said on Sunday.

Most of WHO'S requests to visit northern Gaza to deliver supplies were denied in January, with only three out of 16 requests facilitated. No requests to carry out WHO-led missions to the north were facilitated last month, it said.


Israel stopped all imports of food, medicine, power and fuel into Gaza at the start of the war. Although it later let in aid deliveries, aid organisations say security checks and the difficulty of moving through a war zone have greatly hindered their operations.

United Nations organisations have said that child malnutrition levels in northern Gaza were "particularly extreme" and about three times higher than in the south of the Palestinian enclave where more aid has been available.

"When children are starting to die from starvation, that should be a warning like no other," said Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the U.N. humanitarian office.
"If not now, when is the time to pull the stops, break the glass, flood Gaza with the aid that it needs?"

Peeperkorn of the WHO said that one in six children under two years of age were acutely malnourished in northern Gaza.

Calls for Israel to do more to address the humanitarian crisis have grown louder since the deaths of Palestinians lining up for aid in Gaza last month.

Gaza health authorities said 118 people were killed, attributing the deaths to Israeli fire and calling it a massacre. Israel, which says many people were trampled or run over, has pledged to investigate.

The U.S. military carried out its first air drop of food to Gazans on Saturday and plans more.

The air drop has been viewed as a latest sign that Washington is moving beyond diplomacy with Israel, which the U.N. and other relief agencies complain has blocked or restricted aid. Israel denies hindering humanitarian aid.