The World Health Organization (WHO) condemned Israel’s military incursion into Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, calling it “completely unacceptable.”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed deep concern for the safety of staff and patients, emphasising the need to protect them.
He highlighted the loss of contact with health workers at Al-Shifa Hospital and stressed the importance of safeguarding health facilities, workers, ambulances, and patients during military actions.
Tedros emphasised that even if health facilities are used for military purposes, principles of distinction, precaution, and proportionality must be applied, and international humanitarian law must be respected.
He also raised concerns about the lack of updates on deaths or injuries in Gaza over the past three days, hindering the evaluation of the health system’s functionality.
Addressing the fuel shortage issue in Gaza hospitals, Tedros stated that at least 120,000 liters of fuel per day are needed for essential operations.
While a truck with 23,000 liters of fuel entered Gaza, its usage has been restricted by Israel to transporting aid from Rafah, limiting its impact. Tedros emphasized the critical role of fuel in delivering aid to where it is needed.
The Israeli army’s raid on Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest in Gaza, was acknowledged by Israel, claiming that Hamas members were using the hospital as a base— an allegation denied by both Hamas and hospital officials.
Despite its civilian status, Al-Shifa Hospital has faced attacks and challenges in providing medical care due to shortages of fuel and medical supplies resulting from the blockade.
As the Israeli assault on Gaza continued, with at least 11,320 Palestinians killed and over 29,200 injured, infrastructure, including hospitals, mosques, and churches, has been damaged or destroyed.