WHO urges evacuation of Al Shifa hospital in Gaza, converted into "death zone"

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The Israeli army gave the World Health Organization (WHO) and other UN humanitarian agencies access to the Al Shifa hospital in Gaza, under siege by Israeli troops since last Wednesday. Hours before allowing entry, about 2,500 people evacuated the buildingamong medical personnel, patients and internally displaced people who were taking refuge in the hospital.

“Due to the time limits set and the insecurity situation, the team was only able to spend one hour inside the hospital, which described as a death zone in which the situation is desperate,” explains the WHO in a statement. The members of the mission verified that the hospital had suffered bombings, shooting and saw that medical personnel and displaced people had been forced to bury more than 80 people in a common grave at the entrance to the health center.

There were 291 patients alive in the hospital, including 30 premature babies, who will be transferred to Egypt for treatment, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. At least 25 toilets are still in the center to continue caring for patients, some of them in extremely critical conditions, two of them in intensive care.

Members of the mission warned that the hospital lacks clean water, fuel, medicines and other basic needs. “Roughly, “has ceased to function as a medical facility”, says the WHO. The UN health organization announced that it is studying the evacuation of the remaining patients in Al Shifa, which it describes as “terrified” and “victims of trauma caused by war.”

They would be transferred to two medical centers in the south of the Strip, in Khan Yunis, although the organization warned that both hospitals are already working at the limit of their capacity. The Palestinian Red Crescent warned that the city’s main hospital, al-Amal, has been running without electricity or water during the last six days and that the health centers in the Strip are in a critical situation, due to the Israeli blockade of the entry of food, fuel and medical supplies.

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