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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - A damaged car sits on rubble following an Israeli raid at Kamal Adwan hospital, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in the northern Gaza Strip December 16, 2023. ― Reuters pic
CAIRO, Dec 19 ― A north Gaza hospital that Israeli troops raided is no longer functioning and patients including babies have been evacuated, putting the enclave's collapsing health services in further peril, a World Health Organisation (WHO) official said yesterday.
Gazan authorities said Israeli forces last week used a bulldozer to smash through the perimeter of the Kamal Adwan hospital, forcing out displaced people. Israel said the hospital was used by Hamas fighters.
Reuters could not independently verify the accounts. The WHO had said it was urgently seeking information about the hospital.
“What we understand is it's not functional anymore,” Richard Peeperkorn, WHO representative for Gaza, told Reuters.
He said two newborn babies were taken home “to their families and with a description how to take care of them”, while other patients including infants were evacuated to Al Ahli and Al Shifa hospitals. “Many health workers were reportedly detained”, he said.
“We cannot afford to lose any hospitals,” he added.
Most hospitals in Gaza have been put out of operation by the war, with health services in northern Gaza worst affected.
Gaza is home to 2.3 million people, most of whom have been displaced from their homes by the offensive launched by Israel in retaliation for Hamas' October 7 incursion.
While many have been pushed into southern Gaza, there are reports that up to several hundred thousand people are still in the north, where “there need to be a number of health facilities functional”, said Peeperkorn.
He also said that about 4,000 displaced people taking refuge in the grounds of the Nasser medical complex in the southern city of Khan Younis were at risk as Israel pursues military operations there.
“They told our staff that they were really afraid,” Peeperkorn said. ― Reuters
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