Gaza hospital system has ‘completely collapsed’ – official
The hospital system in Gaza has completely collapsed, Palestinian health ministry spokesman Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra stated on Tuesday. Only an immediate flow of medical supplies and fuel will restore lifesaving services, the official warned, amid the violent escalation between the Palestinian militant group Hamas and Israel.
“The fact that the doors of hospitals remain open does not mean that they provide service to the flood of wounded,” he told journalists.
On Wednesday, the ministry stated that 12 hospitals and 32 primary care centers in the blockaded Palestinian enclave were unable to operate due to bombing by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), fuel shortages and a lack of staff. Currently, only 30% of the full cohort of medical workers in the territory are on duty, the authority said in a statement on Facebook.
Gaza “has run out of medicines for treating cancer, diabetes and kidney failure,” Palestinian health minister Mai Al-Keila told RIA Novosti. She called for the opening of safe corridors for humanitarian aid, describing the amount of supplies that have already arrived as only “a drop in the ocean.”
According to the Palestinian health ministry, 73 medical personnel have been killed, 57 facilities damaged, and 25 ambulances destroyed as a result of Israeli strikes.
The Gaza conflict escalated on October 7 when the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, killing hundreds and taking more than 220 hostages, according to Israeli officials. In retaliation, the IDF began airstrikes on the Palestinian enclave and announced a complete blockade of Gaza, cutting off supplies of water, food, electricity, medicine and fuel.
Since the start of the hostilities, Israel has reported 1,405 deaths, while Gaza officials say the death toll on their side of the border has risen to 6,546, noting that at least 2,704 of the victims were children.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the Security Council on Tuesday that the situation in Gaza was raging and threatening to spread throughout the region. He called for unimpeded humanitarian aid and an immediate ceasefire.
He added that “Hamas’ attacks did not happen in a vacuum,” and noted that “the Palestinian people [had been] subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.” In response, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan called for Guterres’ resignation, accusing him of showing “compassion” for terrorists and murderers.