Publish date16 Feb 2024 - 19:30
Story Code : 625476

WHO deeply alarmed at Israeli raid on Nasser Hospital in Gaza, says it threatens patients, health workers, civilians

The military raid at Nasser Medical Complex at Khan Younis in central Gaza and reports emerging from the hospital are deeply alarming with fears for the safety of the patients, health workers, and civilians sheltering at the hospital, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday.
WHO deeply alarmed at Israeli raid on Nasser Hospital in Gaza, says it threatens patients, health workers, civilians

WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told a UN press conference that the health body is calling for the protection of health care and adherence to international humanitarian law.
“The hospital is the backbone of the health system in southern Gaza and must remain functional. Health facilities in the south have no capacity to receive more patients,” said Jasarevic, adding that "hospitals must not be militarized nor attacked and that international humanitarian law and the principles of precaution and proportionality must be upheld.”
He said patients, health workers, and civilians seeking refuge deserve safety, and not peril, in places of healing.”
“Reports of forcing the transfer of many patients into a different building are gravely concerning.”
Jasarevic also noted: “WHO has warned many times that depriving patients of lifesaving care and forcing the movement of the sick and injured could lead to the deterioration of their condition or even death. Patients’ health must be prioritized and uninterrupted care in a safe environment must be ensured.”
The WHO spokesperson said the critically injured and sick patients remain at the hospital and that the UN is coordinating with Israeli authorities to access the hospital urgently.
“There is an urgent need to deliver fuel to the hospital to ensure the continuation of lifesaving services. Additionally, medical assessments are required to identify the most critical patients and facilitate their safe referral,” Jasarevic added.
He also said Nasser Hospital is barely functional and the reported damage to the orthopedic unit has further choked its ability to provide urgent services. Further degradation of the facility means more lives lost, more illness, and more suffering.
The hospital is already operating beyond its maximum capacity -- with 349% bed capacity and 242% ICU (intensive care unit) capacity.
Separately, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said Nasser Hospital continues to be besieged by Israeli tanks.
The agency stressed that there are reportedly 10,000 displaced people within the hospital’s premises, including 300 medical personnel.
It also noted that on Feb. 14, the Israeli security forces called for the evacuation of civilians seeking shelter in the hospital.
Your Name
Your Email Address
Security Code