June 18, 2024

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UN aid chief condemns ‘reprehensible’ attacks on Gaza hospitals

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A top UN official has condemned attacks on hospitals in Gaza as “unconscionable” and “reprehensible”, as Israeli forces battled Hamas militants in the streets around the besieged strip’s largest medical facility.

Martin Griffiths, the UN’s humanitarian aid chief, said hospitals across Gaza had been left with “no power, food or water” and there had been shooting at patients and civilians as they sought to flee.

“This is unconscionable, reprehensible and must stop,” he said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “There can be no justification for acts of war in healthcare facilities.”

Griffiths’ remarks reflect rising alarm over the dire conditions in Gaza’s hospitals, particularly al-Shifa, the largest medical facility in the strip, where thousands of people had sought shelter from Israel’s bombardment of the enclave.

A Palestinian health official said al-Shifa had no electricity, except for its emergency department, after it ran out of fuel to power generators and no water, saying water tanks had been struck during the fighting.

“Hospitals are being besieged, bombed, and their patients, medical staff and displaced people being killed in full view of the entire world,” the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said in a statement.

The World Health Organization said on Sunday that it had lost communication with its contacts in al-Shifa, amid “horrifying reports of the hospital facing repeated attacks”.

The UN agency said al-Shifa had been hit “multiple times” and was now “surrounded by tanks”. “There are reports that some people who fled the hospital have been shot at, wounded and even killed,” it said.

However, those reports have been challenged by Israeli authorities.

Patients in al-Shifa on Friday. The World Health Organization said on Sunday that it had lost communication with its contacts in the…

2023-11-12 06:13:26

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