Middle East

Gaza lacks critical medical supplies, Canadian doctor says, as Israel continues striking targets. Catch up here

From CNN Staff

A Canadian surgeon who recently returned from Gaza painted a grim picture of the situation on the ground.

“We have a major lack of equipment, of the medical supplies, you know, CT scan machine, and things like that, let alone the lack of drugs (such as) … analgesia, antibiotics,” Anas Al-Kassem told CNN, adding that he had to perform stitches on patients without anesthetics so he could conserve it for major surgeries.

“I think it is worse than what I expected, to be honest with you,” he told CNN, adding that Israeli bombardment in Gaza had been more intense than what he had experienced working in Aleppo during the civil war in Syria.

His comments come as the UN said that Israeli authorities denied a planned mission by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the World Health Organization to deliver critical supplies into northern Gaza on January 8. It was Israel’s fifth denial of a mission to a drug store and hospital since December 26, OCHA said, leaving five hospitals in northern Gaza without access to medical supplies.

The death toll in Gaza has risen to 23,210, with nearly 60,000 people also injured since October 7, 2023, according to the Hamas-controlled health ministry.

CNN is unable to independently confirm the figures provided by the Gaza health ministry, due to restricted access to the region and the difficulty in verifying accurate numbers amid the ongoing conflict.

Here are the latest headlines:

  • Blinken meets PA president: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed “ongoing efforts to minimize civilian harm” and increase the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Gaza during a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the US State Department said. He also urged Israel to pass on a tax they take from Palestinian imports to the PA, in accordance with their agreement. Abbas also called for the immediate end to hostilities and rejected any attempt to relocate Palestinians from Gaza in the meeting in Ramallah, according to a readout of the meeting reported by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.
  • Israel rejects Slovenia claim: Israel has pushed back at a Slovenian claim that its forces in Gaza had committed “violations of international humanitarian law,” with the prime minister’s office saying “all civilian casualties” were Hamas’s fault.
  • Blinken in Bahrain: The US Secretary of State is making a surprise visit to the country as a part of his Middle East trip to try to ease regional tensions.
  • UK warship in Red Sea: The United Kingdom deployed the HMS Diamond guided missile destroyer to support United States warships shooting down more than a dozen Houthi missiles and drones over the Red Sea. The Iran-backed Houthis have said their barrage of drones and missiles are showing solidarity with the Palestinian people.
  • Targets struck: The IDF says it shot down more than 150 “terror targets” across Gaza over the past day. The military said “dozens of terrorist operatives” were killed by Israeli forces in the southern city of Khan Younis.
  • “Fauda” star injured: A top Israeli actor, best known for his role as a special forces soldier in hit Netflix series “Fauda,” was badly wounded in Gaza while fighting for Israel’s military against Hamas, according to his family and the hospital where he is being treated.

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