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Faith Nyasuguta

A hospital in Gaza City saw dozens of injured people arrive on wards following consistent Israeli warplanes pummelling the blockaded strip with an intensity that its war-weary residents had never experienced.

The airstrikes have killed over 1,100 Palestinians, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Officials have not said how many civilians are among the dead in Gaza, but aid workers warn that Israel’s decision to impose a “complete siege” on the crowded enclave of 2.3 million people is spawning a humanitarian catastrophe that touches nearly every one of them.

The airstrikes have transformed lively neighborhoods into wastelands of rubble strewn with bodies. There is no clean water. And there is darkness — the territory’s only power plant ran out of fuel Wednesday, leaving only generators that won’t last long.

The Gaza health ministry has said that 765 people have been killed and 4,000 wounded by Israeli strikes since Saturday.

Israel was retaliating following a Hamas assault in the south of the country in which the militant group killed more than 900 Israelis and foreigners and kidnapped dozens more.

The health ministry warned that a shortage of medical supplies and medications would lead to a “catastrophic situation” in the Gaza Strip.

Eight hospitals were “not sufficient to meet the needs” of the Gaza strip, which has a population of 2.3 million, the ministry said.

The Israeli defence minister declared on Monday a “total siege” against the Gaza Strip, with “no electricity, no water, no gas” for the enclave.

The United Nations’s human rights chief Volker Turk said on Tuesday that the siege was banned under international law.

The Israeli bombardment has rendered the Beit Hanoun hospital inoperative and damaged Al-Shifa hospital’s neonatal unit.

The head of media for the Hamas-led government, Salameh Maarouf, said that “given the great number of wounded,” Gaza was facing a shortage of “medication, medicals supplies, scanner and X-rays”.

He accused the Israelis of “deliberately creating a miserable humanitarian situation through its restrictions and attacks.

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Faith Nyasuguta

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