More people could die from disease than from bombings in the Gaza Strip if the health and sanitation systems are not repaired, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

Critical infrastructure in the besieged territory has been crippled by fuel and supply shortages and targeted attacks on hospitals and United Nations facilities since Israel launched strikes on Gaza on October 7.

“Eventually we will see more people dying from disease than from bombardment if we are not able to put back together this health system,” said Margaret Harris, a spokesperson for the WHO, speaking at a briefing in Geneva on Tuesday.

According to Al Jazeera, she described the collapse of al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza as a “tragedy” and voiced concern about the detention of some of its medical staff by Israeli forces who took over the complex earlier this month.

She also repeated concerns about a rise in outbreaks of infectious diseases in Gaza, particularly diarrhoeal diseases.

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