Sunday, December 3, 2023

Nearly half of Gaza’s hospitals out of service: Health ministry

Sixteen out of 35 hospitals in Gaza are out of service due to the Israeli bombardment and a fuel shortage, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah.

The Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, which is the leading cancer hospital in Gaza, is among hospitals that have stopped operating, the health ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila, based in Ramallah, said on Wednesday that the lives of 70 cancer patients at the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital are seriously threatened, adding that the lives of about 2,000 other cancer patients are also under serious threat amid “catastrophic health conditions” due to the conflict.

Hospital director Sobhi Skaik stated on Monday that the center was damaged in an Israeli attack, with its third floor suffering a direct hit causing damage to oxygen and water supplies, though no one was injured.

The Palestinian health ministry further warned that Gaza’s largest hospital could be out of service very soon.

“Al Shifa Medical Complex will stop working in less than 24 hours due to running out of fuel,” the ministry announced, adding that the hospital’s vicinity has been repeatedly hit by Israeli airstrikes.

The ministry called for Israeli attacks to stop, which it announced would allow medical supplies and volunteer teams to enter, as well as wounded people to leave the strip for treatment.

Ashraf Al-Qudra, a spokesperson for the Gaza health ministry, also told Reuters the main power generator at the Indonesian Hospital was no longer functioning due to lack of fuel.

The hospital was switching to a backup generator but would no longer be able to power mortuary refrigerators and oxygen generators.

“If we don’t get fuel in the next few days, we will inevitably reach a disaster,” he stated.

8,805 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip since 7 October, the enclave’s health ministry said on Wednesday. In a statement, the ministry added that the death toll included 3,658 children and 2,290 women.

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