World Health Organization says Gaza’s main hospital no longer functioning
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NOV
13

World Health Organization says Gaza’s main hospital no longer functioning

World Health Organization says Gaza’s main hospital no longer functioning

The World Health Organization has warned of a "dire and perilous" situation at Gaza's main medical facility, Al-Shifa Hospital, which is experiencing a near-complete power outage and shortages of food and water.

 

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said "constant gunfire and bombings" in the area around the hospital have "exacerbated the already critical circumstances" and that Al-Shifa "is not functioning as a hospital anymore".

 

The Israeli military has reiterated it is "ready to help" evacuate the dozens of vulnerable newborn babies being cared for at the site to another hospital.

 

Al-Shifa's head of surgery, Dr Marwan Abu Saada, has told the BBC that a third premature newborn baby has died because of a lack of power.

 

Dozens of other newborns are currently not receiving the care they need and the surgeon said he is "afraid we are going to lose the lives of all [the] babies".

 

Also speaking to the BBC earlier, Israeli president Isaac Herzog repeated an allegation that Hamas has its headquarters underneath Al-Shifa. Hamas denies using the hospital for military purposes.

 

Dr Abu Saada also described Israel's allegation as a "big lie" and issued an "open invitation" to its nearby forces to come and inspect the building.

 

Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry has issued an update about the situation at Al-Shifa, saying there are at least 2,300 people still inside the hospital.

 

The numbers have been provided to the World Health Organisation, who shared them in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

 

The update says there are between 600 and 650 inpatients in the hospital, as well as 200 to 500 health workers and around 1,500 displaced people who have sought shelter.

 

It adds that the lack of power, water, and food at the site is "putting lives at immediate risk".

 

The WHO repeats its call for an "immediate ceasefire" and the "active protection of civilians and health care".

 

There is not a "single militant" inside Al-Shifa, the hospital's head of surgery has told the BBC.

 

Israel has previously accused Hamas of operating an underground command centre beneath the site of Gaza's largest hospital, which Hamas denies.

 

Asked whether Hamas was operating inside Al-Shifa, Dr Marwan Abu Saada calls the allegation a "big lie".

 

In recent days the area around Al-Shifa in northern Gaza has experienced heavy fighting, with Israel being accused of attacking the hospital directly.

 

The Israeli military says it is operating in the area of the hospital, but denies attacking the facility.

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