As Fighting Empties North Gaza, Humanitarian Crisis Worsens In South

Another 200,000 people have fled northern Gaza since Nov. 5, the U.N. humanitarian office said Tuesday, as Israeli ground forces battle Palestinian militants around hospitals where patients, newborns and medics are stranded with no electricity and dwindling supplies.

The humanitarian office, known as OCHA, says only one hospital in the north is capable of receiving patients. All the others are no longer able to function and mostly serve as shelters from the fighting, including Gaza’s largest, Shifa, which is surrounded by Israeli troops and where 36 babies are at risk of dying because there is no power for incubators.

The war, now in its sixth week, was triggered by Hamas’ surprise attack into Israel, in which militants massacred hundreds of civilians and dragged some 240 hostages back to Gaza. Israel launched heavy airstrikes for nearly three weeks before sending troops and tanks into the north. The war has killed thousands of Palestinian civilians and wreaked widespread destruction on the impoverished enclave.

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