Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip led to the closure of the only operating hospital in the Beit Hanoun neighborhood, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, this Monday (9). The maternity nursery at Al-Shifa Medical Complex, the largest in the region, was also hit.
“The Israeli occupation placed the Beit Hanoun Hospital (the only one in the city) out of service as a result of repeated attacks in the vicinity of the hospital, which made it impossible for employees to enter and leave, as well as damaging large parts of it and interrupting its services. “, said the ministry on its official page on X, formerly Twitter.
“The bombing caused parts of the ceiling to fall near one of the premature babies, who was transported by medical staff,” he said. “The images show the damage caused to the nursery at the Al-Shifa Medical Complex as a result of the occupation’s attack on the area around the complex.”
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Mohammed Abu Mughaiseeb, from the organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Gaza, said that the territory’s health system could collapse in the coming days due to the blockade of energy, medicine and food imposed on Palestinians by Israel.
“Now there are also cuts to telecommunications and internet in several areas,” he told Al Jazeera. If there is no regression in the escalation of violence, Abu Mughaiseeb believes “the situation will collapse in hospitals.”
The “total siege” on the Palestinians was announced this Monday (9). “No electricity, no food, no water, no gas. Everything blocked,” said Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, referring to the Palestinians. “We are fighting human animals and acting accordingly,” continued far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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On Saturday, the organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which operates internationally, called on all parties involved in the conflict to guarantee the safety of civilians and medical facilities. “MSF calls on all parties to the conflict to respect healthcare infrastructure and professionals. Healthcare facilities cannot become targets and hospitals must remain a sanctuary for people seeking care,” the organization said in a statement published on the official website this Sunday (8).
In the same vein, Haneen Wishah, one of the coordinators of Al Awda, an organization that manages hospitals and emergency services for the injured in Gaza, stated that the situation of the health system is “deteriorating”, in an interview with Uol.
“Planes have hit 130 locations in the Gaza Strip in the last three hours. The number of deaths and injuries, including children, is rising. And we must be left without medicines, hospital supplies and without being able to carry out operations in hospitals due to the imposed blockade,” he said . “Health has never been simple because we are under an Israeli siege that has lasted 17 years, with periodic attacks. Now, everything is getting worse.”
“What I’m talking about is the availability of medicines and fuel, the functionality of hospitals. But they are bombing like crazy everywhere. Today, no place is safe in Gaza, not even hospitals, not shelters, not homes,” he said. Wishah.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) recalled that attacks targeting civilians, as well as cutting off energy supplies, are illegal collective punishments, as they are considered war crimes. “The laws of war apply to all parties to a conflict, regardless of the legality of their going to war or power imbalances between the parties,” HRW said in a statement.
Since the early hours of last Saturday (7), when the Hamas group carried out a series of offensives against Israel, around 123 thousand people have had to leave their homes in the Gaza Strip, according to a survey by the United Nations (UN), released this Monday (9). Around 70,000 Palestinians seek refuge in schools.
To date, around 1,600 have died since Saturday, approximately 900 in Israel and 680 in Gaza, according to local newspapers.
Editing: Thalita Pires