SAccording to the WHO, whose experts remained in the immense hospital complex for an hour, the building still housed 25 employees and 291 patients, including 32 babies in critical condition, 22 patients undergoing dialysis and two in intensive care.
Mission members described the hospital as a “death zone” where the situation is “desperate”, the WHO said in a statement released on Saturday night.
“WHO and its partners are urgently developing plans for the immediate evacuation of the remaining patients, staff and their families,” the organization added.
“The team came across a hospital that was no longer in working condition: without water, without electricity, without food, and with medical supplies exhausted”, wrote on the social network X (formerly Twitter) the secretary general of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) November 18, 2023
“Taking into account the deplorable situation and the condition of numerous patients, including babies, hospital staff asked for help to evacuate patients who can no longer receive vital care there,” he added.
In its statement, the WHO states that the vast majority of patients who remain in hospital are victims of complex fractures and amputations, burns, chest and abdominal trauma.
He also said that 29 patients suffer from serious spinal injuries and are unable to move without medical assistance. Many injured suffer from serious infections due to the lack of antibiotics and poor hygiene conditions.
The WHO announced that several missions will be organized in the coming days for the urgent evacuation of the remaining patients towards the Nasser hospital and the European hospital in Gaza, even though these two facilities “already exceed their capacities”.
According to the Israeli Army, which carried out a raid on the Al Shifa hospital on Wednesday morning, this building houses a Hamas complex, which will be installed in a network of tunnels, an allegation denied by the Palestinian Islamist movement.
In recent days, it has surrounded the site and carried out several limited raids on its facilities, in which it claims to have discovered weapons and a tunnel used by Hamas.
The Gaza Strip has been under a total siege by Israel since October 9, with the population deprived of water, electricity, food and medicine.
A part of this population took refuge in the south, close to the Egyptian border, but hundreds of thousands remain in the midst of the fighting, in the north of the enclave. According to several non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the situation is disastrous for the population.
In the Gaza Strip, where Israel claims it intends to “annihilate” Hamas, Israeli bombings in retaliation for the October 7 attack have already caused the deaths of more than 12,000 people, mostly civilians, including around 5,000 children, according to the Ministry of Hamas Health.
According to Israeli authorities, around 1,200 people were killed in Israel in the Hamas attack on October 7, including around 300 military and police personnel.
Read Also: Situation at al-Shifa hospital is “unbearable and unjustifiable”, says WHO
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