(NewsNation) — Human rights groups are sounding alarms over the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which they argue is rapidly approaching catastrophe.
Award-winning journalist and University of Miami professor Rula Jebreal said Gaza is becoming a mass graveyard on “Elizabeth Vargas Reports.”
Prior to the recent conflict, an average of 500 aid vehicles crossed the border from Egypt into Gaza each day. Now, the United Nations is calling for 100 trucks to provide much-needed assistance, but only around 60 have been able to reach their destination in recent days.
The UN reports that over 80% of Gazans now rely on aid for survival. A staggering 95% of the population in Gaza lacks access to clean water, and 80% of the people are living below the poverty line.
Jebreal described the devastation on the ground, with 50% of the infrastructure reduced to ruins, thousands buried in mass graves due to relentless bombardment, and a shortage of anesthesia, forcing doctors to perform surgeries without it.
“One of the families I talked to the other day was telling me it’s like living in a slaughterhouse, waiting for your turn,” Jebreal said.
Drawing parallels with her previous testimony before the European Parliament about the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, Jabril warned that Gaza’s unique geography and the Israeli blockade could lead to an even more extensive humanitarian disaster.
“We will be watching a mass slaughter if that ground invasion takes place,” Jebreal said.
She emphasized that with no elections held in Gaza for the past 17 years and over 50% of the population being children, it is impossible to gauge the true level of support for Hamas.
Jebreal underscored the importance of not holding the entire population accountable for the actions of a few.
Vargas also asked why Gazans didn’t resist Hamas’ use of them as human shields and the storage of weapons among civilians. Jebreal pointed out the severe conditions in Gaza, with a complete blockade and five wars in recent years, making it almost irrational to expect oppressed and bombed civilians to rise up.
Instead, she called for Israel, as the dominant power in the region, to protect civilians and seek political solutions, similar to strategies used in other conflict zones.
“It’s incumbent on Israel, according to international law, to protect the civilians and do something, not only a military response, but they need to be a political response,” she said.