UN Says Only 13 Out Of 36 Hospitals Are Partially Functioning In The Gaza Strip

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A Palestinian child tends to his mother on the floor of a Gaza hospital

The United Nations (UN) says only 13 out of 36 hospitals in the Gaza Strip are partially functional as Israeli occupation forces are targeting medical centres and staff amid heavily bombardment of the besieged territory.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report on Tuesday that the services provided to patients in operational hospitals are ‘limited’ as they have run out of bed capacity.
The report said: ‘The two major hospitals in southern Gaza are operating at three times above their bed capacity while facing critical shortages of basic supplies and fuel. Only one of these hospitals is in the north.’
Citing data from the Gaza Ministry of Health it added: ‘Bed occupancy rates are now reaching 206 percent in inpatient departments and 250 percent in intensive care units. Additionally, these hospitals are providing shelter to thousands of displaced people.
The report also said that the maternity department at Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya, north of Gaza, was hit on Monday, resulting in the death of several mothers.
The hospital remains surrounded by Israeli troops and tanks, and fighting has been reported there for three consecutive days.
The OCHA stated: ‘The hospital is currently accommodating 65 patients, including 12 children in the intensive care unit (ICU) and six newborns in incubators.
‘About 3,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) remain trapped in the facility and are awaiting evacuation with extreme shortages of water, food, and power.’
Ahmed al-Kahlout, head of the Kamal Adwan Hospital said that ‘no one can leave’ the hospital, which has been under siege by Israeli tanks for four days and they face ‘extremely difficult’ conditions.
The OCHA report said that for the sixth consecutive day, Al-Awda Hospital in Jabalya (northern Gaza) remains surrounded by Israeli forces as fighting has been reported in its vicinity.
‘Reportedly, 250 doctors, patients, and their family members are trapped inside the hospital,’ it said, adding that two medical staff were reportedly killed by Israeli forces while on duty inside the hospital on Saturday.
Medecins Sans Frontieres, or (Doctors Without Borders) (MSF), said: ‘Let us be clear: Al-Awda is a functioning hospital with medical staff and many patients in vulnerable condition. Targeting medical workers as they care for their patients is utterly reprehensible, utterly inhumane.’
Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir Al-Balah and Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis were also repeatedly bombarded on Sunday and Monday which impeded the access of dozens of casualties.
Israel claims Gaza hospitals are military targets for the Israeli forces. Israel has repeatedly claimed that Hamas locates its operational bases in tunnels under hospitals and other civilian infrastructure, a charge Hamas dismisses.
Also in its report, OCHA voiced concerns over the rapid spread of infectious diseases in the Gaza Strip due to the ‘overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions’ at shelters provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the south.
It said: ‘There have been significant increases in some communicable diseases and conditions such as diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections, skin infections, and hygiene-related conditions like lice.
The report added that on average, UNRWA shelters located in the middle and southern areas are currently sheltering nine times the number of IDPs as was planned for.
Since the start of the offensive on October 7, Israel has killed at least 18,205 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 49,645 others.
Thousands more are also missing, presumed dead under the rubble in Gaza.
Earlier, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that ‘Gaza’s health system is on its knees and collapsing, with the risk expected to worsen with the deteriorating situation and approaching winter conditions.
The UN agencies have warned that Palestinians in the besieged strip face widespread hunger and dire conditions, amid Israel’s genocidal war.
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said: ‘Hunger stalks everyone. Too many people haven’t eaten now for two, three days in the Gaza Strip.’
UNRWA slammed Israel for ‘systematically’ using food, water and fuel ‘as weapons of war’ in Gaza.
It came as the World Food Programme (WFP) revealed in a report published last week that 91 per cent of households in Gaza reported going to bed hungry, while 63 per cent reported enduring entire days without food.
UN Special Rapporteur on Food, Michael Fakhri, said: ‘Every single Palestinian in Gaza is going hungry,’ warning of a ‘genocide’ in Gaza.
All of these reports have not deterred the US from ‘shamefully’ vetoing a UN resolution calling for a ceasefire last Friday.
The US move drew wide condemnation from workers in countries around the world.
The World Health Organisation Executive Board also warned of a total breakdown of Gaza’s healthcare system.
Ghebreyesus said: ‘Gaza’s health system is on its knees and collapsing, with the risk expected to worsen with the deteriorating situation and winter conditions.
‘As more and more people move to a smaller and smaller area, overcrowding, combined with the lack of adequate food, water, shelter and sanitation, are creating the ideal conditions for disease to spread.’
Meanwhile, the Israeli military’s assault on the northern West Bank city of Jenin which started at dawn on Tuesday, continues through the afternoon with the detention of around 70 people from Jenin refugee camp, according to local sources.
The army killed four Palestinians in the city in a missile strike by a drone and injured many others, one of them critically.
Military vehicles were deployed around the city’s hospitals, preventing ambulances and cars from reaching them, resulting in the death of an ill child whose father was forced to carry him and walk to the hospital, after the ambulances were not able to reach him and cars were not able to reach the hospital.
Medics said the child, who was ill, had died upon arrival at the hospital due to the delay in getting there on time.
The Israeli occupation forces on Tuesday detained 50 Palestinians in raids at their homes across the occupied West Bank, including two women.
In Ramallah, the occupation forces detained 22 people, including Wasim Snaiber, who was shot by the soldiers by live bullets, and a woman.
The Israeli forces detained 12 people from Bethlehem, six from Hebron, two from Nablus, one from Tubas and six from Jenin, including a woman.
Elsewhere, on Tuesday, settlers stole dozens of cows, east of Ain al-Hilweh in the northern Jordan Valley.
A number of settlers attacked a herd of cows owned by local resident Adel Aliyan Daraghmeh, stole approximately 30 cows and took them to one of the settlements in the northern Jordan Valley.
Israeli occupation forces on Tuesday demolished facilities in the town of Anata, east of occupied Jerusalem.
The occupation bulldozers demolished a barn and a farm belonging to local resident Mohammad Ahmed Hilweh in the town.

  • On Tuesday, an Israeli interceptor missile landed in a government school in the town of Yater, south of Lebanon, and hit its director’s car, without causing any casualties.

A missile fell on a school in the town of Yater in southern Lebanon, hitting the headteacher’s car minutes after he got out of it.
Fortunately the interceptor missile did not explode, and the damage was limited to material matters.
For its part, Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah said, on Tuesday, the targeted 3 Israeli army sites and points off the southern Lebanese border.
It said that its fighters ‘targeted Israeli artillery positions in Khirbet Maar, near the Lebanese town of Al-Bustan, with weapons and achieved direct hits.’
The statement added: ‘Hezbollah also targeted today the deployment points of Israeli soldiers in the vicinity of the Jal al-Alam site in northern Israel near the border with Lebanon.’
Hezbollah also announced on Tuesday, the targeting the Israeli site of Al-Malikiyah, opposite the Lebanese border, and achieving a ‘direct hit’ in it.
Sirens sounded in the cities of Acre in the north of Israel and Ashkelon in the south, after attacks targeted Israel.