Publish date15 Jun 2024 - 15:42
Story Code : 639262

WHO warns of intensifying health crisis in West Bank

The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed concern over the critical situation of the health system in the occupied Palestinian territory, including the occupied West Bank, targeted by the Israeli forces amid increasing restriction on Palestinian access to the health care.
WHO warns of intensifying health crisis in West Bank
Since the start of the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023, 546 civilians have been killed in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, including 133 children. In addition, over 5200 people, 800 of them children, have been injured, adding to the growing burden of trauma and emergency care at already strained health facilities.

As of 28 May, WHO has documented 480 attacks on health care in the West Bank since October 7, resulting in the killing of 16 people and the injury of 95 others.

The attacks affected 54 health facilities, 20 mobile clinics and 319 ambulances. Fifty-nine percent of the attacks occurred in the cities of Tulkarem, Jenin and Nablus. They include attacks on health infrastructure and ambulances, detention of health workers and patients, obstruction of their access to health facilities, use of force on health workers and militarized searches of ambulances and staff.

The closure of checkpoints, arbitrary obstructions, and detentions of health workers, rising insecurity, as well as the siege and closure of entire towns and communities has made movement within the West Bank increasingly restricted, impeding access to health facilities. Extensive infrastructure and housing damage, particularly in the northern West Bank, have compounded the situation by obstructing access for ambulances and first-aid responders. 

 In most areas of the West Bank, primary care clinics and outpatient specialty clinics are now operating two days per week, and hospitals are operating at approximately 70% capacity.

WHO called for the immediate and active protection of civilians and health care in the West Bank.
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