The head of the World Health Organization on Wednesday described a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, warning that more people in the enclave they could die of disease rather than in battle between Israel and Hamas.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, pointed out that there is increased risk of illnessdue to the overcrowding of people in shelters and the lack of food, water, sanitation and medicine.

It said 111,000 people are suffering from infections of respiratory and 75,000 others from diarrhea, more than half of them in fact, under 5 years old.

“Given the living conditions and the lack of health care, more people could die from disease than from bombing,” the WHO chief said, calling for a permanent ceasefire. “It’s a matter of life or death for civilians,” he emphasized.

Israel declares that a long-term ceasefire ‘not an option’ until Hamas is destroyed and all the terrorist group’s hostages return home.

The war, which broke out after a bloody attack by Hamas in southern Israel on October 7, has displaced up to 1.8 million people in Gaza, or about 80% of the enclave’s population, according to UN figures.