Feb 3, 2024
More than 100,000 Palestinians are either dead, injured, or missing and presumed dead in the besieged Gaza Strip, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced.
This follows more than three months of intense Israeli bombardment of the enclave, with Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirming a total of 27,131 Palestinians killed, and 66,287 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.
At the same time, “the risk of famine is high and increasing each day,” the WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Thursday.
Ghebreyesus said the agency’s teams on the ground report “increasing food shortages for medical staff and patients with only one meal per day.”
The WHO chief stressed, “We continue to call for safe access for humanitarian personnel and supplies.”
He said the organization has faced “great difficulty” in trying to reach hospitals in southern Gaza, with heavy fighting reported near hospitals in Khan Yunis, “severely impairing access to health facilities, for patients, health workers and supplies.”
During a UN mission on Monday, the WHO delivered medical supplies to Nasser Medical Complex.
Read every single name. Each child is the soul of an entire family. Kill the child and the tragedy spreads widely, with unimaginable pain and grief. Israel knows it all too well. This is no ‘collateral damage’, but the cynical, colonial ‘politics of elimination’.
Nelson Mandela… pic.twitter.com/lRpvRJcgQX
— Dr. Mads Gilbert (@DrMadsGilbert) February 2, 2024
“Other missions to deliver fuel and food were denied,” he said.
Despite challenges, Nasser Hospital continues to offer health services, “although at reduced capacity.”
The hospital is operating with a single ambulance, and “donkey carts are being used for transporting patients.”
Health Care to be Protected, Not Militarized
He also shared that “yesterday we made another attempt to get food to Nasser, but due to delays the food was taken from the trucks by crowds who are also desperate for food.”
“We continue to call for health care to be protected and not attacked or militarized, and we continue to call for a ceasefire,” the WHO chief said.
Earlier on Saturday, he said on X that “22,000 people are sheltering in Gaza’s European Hospital due to the ongoing intensive fighting in Khan Yunis, which also impedes access to the hospital.”
The WHO team and partners have “witnessed extreme crowding inside the facility — truly inhumane conditions for patients, health workers, and those without a safe place to shelter,” he added.
— PRCS (@PalestineRCS) February 3, 2024
Ghebreyesus also said he was “Horrified by the reports about the killing of civilians, including Palestine RCS staff, at the Al Amal hospital compound today and in the past two days in Khan Yunis, Gaza.”
He stressed, “We cannot say it louder: hospitals must be protected, not attacked nor militarized. Ceasefire!”
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