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Gaza fighting spreads into hospitals where there’s ‘no way in and out’

Speaking in Geneva, Christian Lindmeier, spokesperson for the UN World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that Al-Khair Hospital was “one of the two hospitals that is now being raided”, while Nasser Hospital was “now basically besieged around the hospital and has no way in and out”. 

“I know it must be a horrible scenario on the ground there with people not knowing what the next minutes will bring.”

Desperate health needs

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The WHO spokesperson added that only 14 hospitals are still functioning in Gaza –  seven in the north and seven in the south – where health needs are overwhelming after more than three months of heavy bombardment by Israeli Defense Forces, triggered by Hamas-led terror attacks in Israel that left some 1,200 dead and approximately 250 taken hostage. 

The development follows an alert on X, formerly Twitter, from WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday evening about reports of “continuous fighting” near hospitals in Kheir Younis, where violence prevented “newly injured people outside the hospitals from being reached and receiving care”. 

The situation is “absolutely unacceptable and not what any health facility anywhere in the world should go through”, Mr. Lindmeier insisted, noting that some 20 hospitals no longer function across Gaza.

Aid convoys held up

Underscoring the dire humanitarian situation in the enclave, the WHO spokesperson described how desperate and hungry Gazans have become, in their search for food. “One of the convoys had mainly fuel for hospitals on it but the people were holding it up as multiple times it was trying to move forward and trying to leave and trying to get onto the road because they were so desperate looking for food.”

Echoing that warning, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) warned that more than half a million people in Gaza continue to face “catastrophic food insecurity levels”.

The risk of famine increases each day as conflict continues to limit the delivery of lifesaving food assistance, said Abeer Etefa, WFP’s Middle East And North Africa Senior Communications Officer and spokesperson.

“It is the largest concentration of people in what looks like famine-like conditions anywhere in the world. And also how fast we got to this point is extremely concerning.”

The WFP spokesperson also noted that children who had been evacuated for treatment on the Egyptian side of the border appeared malnourished, underweight and “extremely thin”.

She added: “If we don’t have a more humanitarian pause, a ceasefire, more access to people, we’re going to see, you know, these people are starving already and they will be in a very difficult situation.”

 

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