WHO Loses Communication with Contacts in Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza

New York, The World Health Organization (WHO) has lost communication with its contacts in Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza.

"As horrifying reports of the hospital facing repeated attacks continue to emerge, we assume our contacts joined tens of thousands of displaced people who had sought shelter on the hospital grounds and are fleeing the area. There are reports that some people who fled the hospital have been shot at, wounded and even killed," WHO said in a statement early Sunday.

Over the past 48 hours, Al-Shifa Hospital - the biggest health facility in Gaza - has been reportedly attacked multiple times, leaving several people dead and many others injured. The intensive care unit suffered damage from bombardment, while areas of the hospital where displaced people were sheltering have also been damaged. An intubated patient reportedly died when electricity was at one point cut.

The last reports said that the hospital was surrounded by tanks. Staff reported lack of clean water and risk of the last remaining critical functions, including ICUs, ventilators and incubators, soon shutting down due to lack of fuel, putting the lives of patients at immediate risk.

WHO has grave concerns for the safety of the health workers, hundreds of sick and injured patients, including babies on life support and displaced people who remain inside the hospital. The number of inpatients is reportedly almost double its capacity, even after restricting services to lifesaving emergency care, the statement read.

WHO calls again for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza as the only way to save lives and reduce the horrific levels of suffering. Hospitals, patients, health staff, and persons sheltering in health facilities are protected under the Geneva Conventions and International Humanitarian Law.

The Israeli occupation forces continue to attack hospitals and areas around them in Gaza Strip. The occupation warplanes continue bombardment of the vicinity of the Indonesian Hospital in Beit Lahia. Meanwhile, the occupation tanks and military vehicles are surrounding Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza from all sides, and are stationed 20 meters away from it, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

The Doctors Without Borders reported Saturday, that hospitals in Gaza have been under relentless bombardment over the past 24 hours while patients and medical staff were still trapped inside, calling for halting attacks against hospitals urgently.

The unprecedent brutal Israeli occupation aggression on Gaza Strip continues for the 37th day in a row, leaving thousands of martyrs and injured, most of them children, women and elderly, while hundreds are still buried or stuck under the rubbles.

Source: Qatar News Agency