06/11/2023 06:47 PM

By Rosmalis Anuar

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 (Bernama) -- The death toll in Gaza has risen to 9,770 on Sunday, with at least another 2,000 people unaccounted for and feared buried in the rubble of destroyed homes and buildings due to the relentless airstrikes by the Zionist regime.

“The dead are accounted for, but there are not enough volunteers and heavy machinery to help locate and dig out those trapped under the rubble,” lamented Gaza's senior government official Dr. Abdullah Waleed.

"Our civil defense agencies are unable to dig them out, and they are also unable to keep up with all of these airstrikes, destruction, and bombings that have taken place in every area in the Gaza Strip," he told Bernama when contacted via WhatsApp.

Hence, Dr. Abdullah, Head of Public Policy at Gaza Prime Minister's Office, emphasized the urgent need for a formidable civil defense to respond to the present man made disaster.

“Civil defense is needed more than ever now, especially considering that what has been happening in Gaza since Oct 7 cannot be compared to previous rounds of escalation and aggression, looking at the level of destruction and the number of casualties, which are much worse,” he said.

Regarding the situation on the ground, he said it is unbearable as there is no safe place in the blockaded enclave, with Israeli attacks occurring almost hourly, every day without pause.

"The people are suffering in every aspect of life. They are just using whatever is available, and if you can go to shops, you rarely find something to eat. Shelves are empty.

"You can only get one packet of bread, which will have to feed like 10 or 20 family members. It's almost like one piece of bread for every member a day, which is a very minimum amount," said Abdullah who is also the Member of Council on International Relations, Palestine.

Despite the stress, anxiety, and exhaustion, Abdullah noted that the people of Gaza remain resilient, having experienced hardships almost every day for decades.

"People are holding onto their faith, and I believe this is one of the main elements that make them exceptionally strong and determined to fight for their goals of achieving freedom and independence," he said.

Abdullah stated that while there is no sign of a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian side, people in Gaza have been closely monitoring international responses every hour and were pleased to witness a significant surge in support from all over the world for the Palestinian cause.

Palestinians also expect more from the Arab and Islamic worlds in terms of support, stronger and bolder statements, and practical positions concerning the ongoing Israeli atrocities.

"We expect the Arab world to declare that they will not export oil to countries supporting Israel, for example. This action would compel the international community to pressure Israel to cease the ongoing atrocities," he said, adding that some Arab nations need to sever their diplomatic ties with Israel.

Abdullah mentioned that the people of Gaza also applauded Malaysia's position, emphasizing that the solidarity from Malaysia to Palestine is notably strong and tangible. He expressed hope for other countries to follow a similar path in supporting Palestine.

"Malaysian NGOs have been doing important humanitarian work for a long time, and they are one of the main active organizations around the world supporting the Palestinian cause," he added.


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