News   /   Palestine

Israel’s destruction of Shifa hospital rips heart out of Gaza health system: WHO

Palestinians are seen n the area around Gaza's al-Shifa Hospital on April 1, 2024. (AFP)

Israel’s total destruction of al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in the Gaza Strip, has ripped the heart out of the healthcare system in the besieged Palestinian territory, says the World Health Organization (WHO).

Israeli forces imposed a siege and started a raid on the hospital on March 18.

On Monday, the regime confirmed the withdrawal of its forces from the complex, which, according to officials and eyewitnesses, is left in an "indescribable" situation.

WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris said on Tuesday that al-Shifa is “no longer able to function in any shape or form as a hospital.”

“Destroying al-Shifa means ripping the heart out of the health system,” Harris said.

“It was the place people go to for the kind of care that a really good health system provides, that we in all our societies expect to have should we be in need.”

Israel’s military claimed its troops had killed Hamas fighters and seized weaponry and intelligence documents in the hospital.

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has repeatedly denied the claims, saying those who were killed in the raid on the hospital were patients, medical workers and displaced civilians.

Palestinian officials have said the raid on the hospital that was treating severely wounded patients is “a war crime and is part of the war of genocide conducted by the Israeli occupation.” Al-Shifa has also sheltered thousands of Palestinians who fled Israel’s hostilities in northern parts of the territory.

Hundreds of people returned to the hospital and the surrounding area after the regime’s forces withdrawal early on Monday.

One of those who returned, Mohammed Mahdi, described a scene of “total destruction.”

He said several buildings had been burned down and that he had counted six bodies in the area, including two in the hospital courtyard.

According to residents, Israel’s bulldozers had ploughed over a makeshift cemetery inside the hospital compound, where there were patients, medical workers and displaced people still sheltering.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku