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Footage showing an ambulance carrying civilians and a child being hit by an apparent Israeli airstrike has been released by Palestine‘s Red Crescent humanitarian society.

In the clip, several people crammed into the back of an ambulance are heard screaming as a missile smashes into a target nearby, triggering a powerful explosion.

The vehicle was full of Gazan medics, as well as multiple civilians who had squeezed into the van to take cover as Israel’s air force continues its bombing raids across the 25-mile strip of land. 

Fearing the next bomb would score a direct hit on the vehicle, the camera holder leaps out of the van and sprints down a road, apparently hoping to find a more solid shelter.

As he sprints away, his lens shows debris littering the street with blown out wreckages of cars, some still ablaze, trailing thick plumes of black smoke into the sky above.  

The footage emerged as the World Health Organisation on Monday warned there were only ’24 hours of water, electricity and fuel left’ in the Gaza Strip before ‘a real catastrophe’ sets in.

WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Ahmed Al-Mandhari said the bombarded, besieged territory must be allowed to receive convoys of aid, currently stuck at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

If assistance does not arrive, doctors will have to ‘prepare death certificates for their patients’, he said. 

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Panic ensued in the ambulance as the occupants narrowly avoided an Israeli strike. Medics and injured civilians alike can be seen piled into the back of the van, screaming as the explosions ring around around them

Children view a destroyed ambulance parked along a street in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip

Children view a destroyed ambulance parked along a street in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip

A medic runs as he carries an injured Palestinian child to ambulance

A medic runs as he carries an injured Palestinian child to ambulance

Palestinians work to clear the rubble of a collapsed building following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, in the southern of Gaza Strip, on October 16, 2023

Palestinians work to clear the rubble of a collapsed building following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, in the southern of Gaza Strip, on October 16, 2023

Members of a Palestinian civil emergency team carry the body one of their colleagues, who was killed in Israeli strikes, at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City October 16, 2023

Members of a Palestinian civil emergency team carry the body one of their colleagues, who was killed in Israeli strikes, at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City October 16, 2023

Palestinians carry a man found under the rubble of a house destroyed in Israeli strikes into an ambulance in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip October 16, 2023

Palestinians carry a man found under the rubble of a house destroyed in Israeli strikes into an ambulance in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip October 16, 2023

The Israeli military has been pounding the Gaza Strip with unprecedented firepower ever since Palestinian militant group Hamas, which rules the enclave, launched the biggest attack on Israel since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, killing more than 1,300 people.

Authorities in Gaza said at least 2,750 people had so far been killed by the Israeli strikes, a quarter of them children, and nearly 10,000 wounded. Another 1,000 people were missing and believed to be under rubble.

More than a million people have fled their homes ahead of an expected Israeli ground invasion aimed at destroying Hamas after its fighters rampaged through southern Israel. 

Hospitals in Gaza now warn they are on the verge of collapse, with emergency generators that power machines like ventilators and incubators down to about one day of fuel and supplies of medicine almost exhausted.

The WHO said hospitals are ‘overflowing’ as people seek safety.

‘We are concerned about disease outbreaks due to mass displacement and poor water and sanitation,’ it said. 

Four hospitals in northern Gaza are no longer functioning and 21 have received Israeli orders to evacuate. Doctors have refused, saying it would mean death for critically ill patients and newborns on ventilators.

The WHO said water shortages caused by Israel’s decision to cut off water supplies, combined with a lack of fuel for pumps and desalination stations, put thousands of hospital patients at risk.

‘Water is needed to ensure sanitary conditions on inpatient wards, in operation rooms, and emergency departments. It is essential for the prevention of hospital associated infections and for the prevention of outbreaks in hospitals,’ the WHO said.

Hamas meanwhile has urged people to stay in their homes, and the Israeli military on Sunday released photos it said showed a Hamas roadblock preventing traffic from moving south.

A rescuer salvages a gas canister from the rubble of a building after it was hit by an Israeli strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on October 15, 2023

A rescuer salvages a gas canister from the rubble of a building after it was hit by an Israeli strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on October 15, 2023

A Palestinian man walks amid the rubble of buildings destroyed during Israeli air strikes near his home in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern of Gaza Strip

A Palestinian man walks amid the rubble of buildings destroyed during Israeli air strikes near his home in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern of Gaza Strip

Palestinians search for casualties under the rubble of a house destroyed in Israeli strikes in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip October 16, 2023

Palestinians search for casualties under the rubble of a house destroyed in Israeli strikes in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip October 16, 2023

Relatives of Palestinian civil defence officer killed in Israeli attacks mourn at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza Strip, Gaza on October 16, 2023

Relatives of Palestinian civil defence officer killed in Israeli attacks mourn at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza Strip, Gaza on October 16, 2023

Members of a Palestinian civil emergency team react as they look at their colleague who was killed in Israeli strikes, at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City October 16, 2023

Members of a Palestinian civil emergency team react as they look at their colleague who was killed in Israeli strikes, at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City October 16, 2023

Palestinians search for casualties under the rubble of a house destroyed in Israeli strikes in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip October 16, 2023

Palestinians search for casualties under the rubble of a house destroyed in Israeli strikes in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip October 16, 2023

As Gaza’s food, water and medicine supplies dwindle, all eyes are on the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, where trucks carrying badly needed aid have been waiting for days as mediators press for a cease-fire that would allow them to enter Gaza and allow foreigners to leave. 

Rafah, Gaza’s only connection to Egypt, was shut down nearly a week ago because of Israeli airstrikes.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Israel ‘has not taken a position to open the crossing from the Gaza side.’ The Israeli government did not respond to a request for comment.

British officials are working with the Egyptian authorities in an effort to facilitate British and dual nationals, as well as their spouses and children, to leave Gaza through the border.

However, expectations in Government for opening the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt remain very low.

Defence Minister James Heappey warned it is important to ‘sound a note of caution that the reports might be more optimistic than reality’.

And Prime Minister Rishi Sunak acknowledged it is an ‘anxious time for many families who will have loved ones who are impacted or missing’, with around 10 British hostages being held by Hamas.

Speaking to broadcasters during a visit to a Jewish secondary school in north London, the Prime Minister said: ‘The humanitarian situation is one which of course we’re concerned about, and that I’ve raised in all the calls and interactions I’ve had with other leaders from across the region.

‘And in particular making sure that we can try and get the Rafah crossing open, that will ease the humanitarian situation.’

Mr Sunak raised the border crossing in a call with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi last week, and it is understood that opening the border for foreign nationals and for Palestinian refugees could be treated separately.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘We do think it is important, both in the interests of British nationals and others, but also important for the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza.’

Israel has said the siege won’t be lifted until Hamas releases all 199 captives it is believed to have siezed in last week’s attacks.

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This post first appeared on Daily Mail

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