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Gaza health care system 'totally collapsed' amid incessant Israeli bombardment

Patients receiving dialysis treatments are deprived due to lack of medicine and electricity at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, Gaza on October 24, 2023 (Via Getty Images)

The healthcare system at hospitals in the besieged Gaza Strip has "totally collapsed" due to the ongoing Israeli bombardment of the besieged Palestinian enclave, the health ministry says.

“Hospitals in Gaza have totally collapsed due to the Israeli war,” Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said on Tuesday. 

Al-Qudra further said 65 medics had been killed and 25 ambulances had been destroyed in Israeli strikes since October 7. 

“Twelve hospitals and 32 healthcare centers were forced out of service,” al-Qudra said. “We are afraid that many more will stop operations in the coming hours due to lack of fuel.”

The spokesman also warned that electric generators would cease functioning within 48 hours due to fuel shortage. "We have less than 48 hours before all electric generators in hospitals run out of fuel."

He added that the mechanism followed to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza is "slow and cannot change the reality," stressing that "the health care system has reached the worst stage in its history."

The ministry has called on the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to push for allowing supplies of fuel and blood units to support the health sector in the besieged strip

The Indonesian Hospital in Gaza was shut down as its vital facilities were disrupted Monday as a result of a power outage. Videos circulating online showed medical teams at the hospital receiving patients carried by ambulance workers while using portable flashlights.

Meanwhile, the United Nations’ health agencies called for more aid to be allowed into Gaza in a report released Tuesday morning, warning that the lack of medical supplies, food and fuel in the region will only cause the region’s medical burden to grow increasingly dire.  

One-third of hospitals in the Gaza Strip are now non-functional at a time when the medical burden is enormous, and some two-thirds of clinics are not functioning, according to Rick Brennan, UN World Health Organization’s Emergencies Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the spokesman said Gaza’s death toll from the ongoing Israeli airstrikes had climbed to 5,791 people.

“The victims include 2,360 children, 1,292 women and 295 elders,” he said, adding that 16,297 people were also injured.

“Children, women and elders make up around 70% of the victims,” al-Qudra said.

The spokesman also said around 1,550 people are reported to be trapped under the rubble, including 870 children.

“The Israeli occupation committed massacres against Palestinian families in past hours that left 305 children, 173 women and 78 elders dead,” he added.

The developments come as aid agencies warned that a humanitarian catastrophe was unfolding in the besieged enclave.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has voiced concern about "clear violations of international humanitarian law" in the Gaza Strip.

He told the 15-member UN Security Council, ”The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”


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