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Israel-Gaza: WHO calls Al-Shifa hospital a ‘bloodbath’ as France condemns Israel for Rafah strike ABC News

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18 December 2023, ABC News

The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed concerns about the state of Al-Shifa hospital due to a shortage of supplies and large amount of injured patients unable to receive proper medical care.

Key points:

The WHO on Sunday labelled the emergency department at Al-Shifa hospital “a bloodbath” one day after they and other UN agencies were able to deliver medical supplies to the hospital, the largest in the Palestinian territory.

In a statement, the WHO said that “tens of thousands of displaced people are using the hospital building and grounds for shelter”, and that there is “a severe shortage” of drinking water and food.

medics stand around as a boy sits on the ground with an IV drip attached, one man holding up the bag

“The team described the emergency department as a ‘bloodbath’, with hundreds of injured patients inside, and new patients arriving every minute,” the organisation said, adding that “patients with trauma injuries were being sutured on the floor… [and] no pain management is available”.

The hospital is functioning at a minimal scale with very few staff and the WHO said “critical patients are being transferred to Al-Ahli Arab Hospital for surgeries”.

Operating theatres are not working due to a lack of oxygen and supplies, and according to the WHO team, it is a “hospital in need of resuscitation”.

Only 30 patients can receive dialysis daily.

All health infrastructure in the Gaza strip has been hard hit by bombardments and ground operations since the October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas on Israeli territory.

Inside Gaza, a devastating new term has emerged: WCNSF

Inside Gaza’s overwhelmed hospital system, an influx of injured children arriving alone without any family has prompted doctors to coin a new term: Wounded Child, No Surviving Family.

A close up of a young girl with a scar on her face lying in a hospital bed.

The attack saw about 1,140 people killed, mostly civilians, and 240 hostages taken, according to the Israeli authorities’ latest figures.

According to Palestinian health authorities, Israel’s retaliatory offensive in Gaza has killed 18,800 people, mostly women and children.

Israel has accused Hamas of running a command centre below the hospital — which has special protection under the laws of war — despite repeated denials from hospital officials and the Palestinian militant group.

The WHO said it would reinforce Al-Shifa “in the coming weeks” in order for it to resume basic services.

“Up to 20 operating theatres in the hospital, as well as post-operative care services, can be activated if provided with regular supplies of fuel, oxygen, medicines, food, and water,” the WHO said, along with the necessary staff.

Currently, Al-Ahli Arab is the only hospital “partially functioning” in the entire north of the Gaza Strip, while three hospitals — Al-Shifa, Al Awda and Al Sahaba Medical Complex — are functioning at a minimum.

Before the war, there were 24 operational facilities.

The WHO has also expressed concerns about the Kamal Adwan hospital, where the Hamas health ministry said on December 13 that the Israeli army had fired on patient rooms in the besieged facility.

at the hospital gate, hundreds of people walk in and out of the hospital compound

Tens of thousands of displaced Palestinians are sheltering in the Al-Shifa hospital compound. (AFP)

French foreign ministry condemns Rafah attack

The French foreign ministry said one of its workers had died as a result of wounds sustained during an Israeli attack in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip.

The man was seeking refuge in the house of a colleague from the French consulate alongside two other co-workers and a number of their family members, the ministry statement issued late on Saturday said.

people crowd around a destroyed house trying to rescue people

“The house was hit by an Israeli air strike on Wednesday evening, which seriously hurt our agent and killed about 10 others,” it said, adding he had later died of his wounds.

The statement said France condemned the bombing of a residential building.

“We demand that the Israeli authorities shed full light on the circumstances of this bombing, as soon as possible,” it said.

The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A spokesperson for the French foreign ministry declined to provide further details on the name, nationality and age of the worker.

“We’re waiting for clarification [from Israel],” said French Foreign Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna shortly after meeting her Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen in Tel Aviv on Sunday.

She called for an “immediate truce” between Hamas and Israel to allow for a humanitarian ceasefire.

Israel says it seeks to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, according to international law, though critics and even its closest ally, the US, say it needs to do more.

The death toll from the raid on the Nur Shams camp in the West Bank city of Tulkarem climbed to five after the announcement of the deaths of two men aged 19 and 21 in hospital, the ministry said.

The Israeli operation at the camp began during the night, according to witnesses.

The director of the Thabet Thabet hospital, Amin Khader, told AFP that “five people arrived at the hospital with wounds, including one to the head”.

An Israeli military spokesperson said air strikes had targeted “terrorist groups who opened fire and threw explosives, putting IDF [army] forces in danger”.

“At least four terrorists were killed and others were injured” during the raid, the spokesperson said, adding that four others were arrested.

“During searches, combatants found a bomb in a clinic where wanted people were hiding,” the spokesperson added.

More than 290 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the West Bank since the war erupted on October 7, health officials say.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Jenin in particular has been the scene of repeated raids in recent months that have left dozens dead.

Article link: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-12-18/israel-gaza-latest-updates-al-shifa-bloodbath/103239904
Article source: ABC News 2023.12.18

2024-02-22 05:36:48.000000

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