19 Dec 2023

Humanitarian groups push for aid in Gaza as death toll grows

From Nine To Noon, 9:20 am on 19 December 2023
10/15/2023 Gaza, Palestine. People walking amidst the destruction of houses and streets in Khan Yunis, located in the southern Gaza Strip, amid the devastation caused by Israeli airstrikes. (Photo by Mohamed Zaanoun / Middle East Images / Middle East Images via AFP)


Humanitarian groups are working tirelessly to get aid into Gaza, as the death toll from Israel's war with Hamas grows.

The health ministry of Gaza, which is run by Hamas, says the death toll is now over 19,000 with 52,000 people injured, since the start of the war.

Hostilities began on October 7 after a terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas militants where 1200 Israelis were killed and 240 hostages were taken, some of whom were released during a brief pause earlier this month. 

Médecins Sans Frontières says more than 1.8 million people - around 80 percent of the population of Gaza - have been displaced, with people crowded further south in the 40km long Gaza Strip, in what is described as a humanitarian disaster. 

New Zealander Katrina Penney is the president of Médecins Sans Frontières Australia.

She has a background in nursing, and since joining MSF in 2002, has worked in Afghanistan, Nepal, Yemen, Haiti and Sierra Leone.