A team of experts led by the World Health Organization (WHO) visited Al-Shifa Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday to assess the situation there. The team spent only an hour in the medical complex for security reasons, calling it the ‘death zone’.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter on Saturday that the team “found a hospital that could no longer function: no water, no food, no electricity, no fuel and medical supplies had run out.”‘ 32 children were “in critical condition” and 291, including 25 health workers. The WHO says the patients are in hospital. “WHO and its partners are urgently developing a plan for the immediate evacuation of remaining patients, staff and their families,” the organization said.
The delegation, which visited the largest medical facility in the Gaza Strip, included health experts, logisticians and security personnel from various branches of the United Nations. They noted shelling damage and found a mass grave at the entrance to the hospital. WHO said the group was told there were more than eighty people in the grave.
Israeli soldiers raided al-Shifa hospital on Wednesday. According to the Israelis, there is a Hamas command post under the compound. Hamas and the hospital board contradict it. An Israeli military spokesman said on Saturday that it had responded to the hospital director’s request. Hundreds of people reportedly left the hospital on a padayatra, but patients who were unable to do so were left behind. (AP)