WHO warns that Gaza health system ‘at breaking point’

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Palestinian children injured in the aftermath of Israeli air strikes receive treatment at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on August 6, 2022. (Photo by Mahmud HAMS / AFP)
Palestinian children injured in the aftermath of Israeli air strikes receive treatment at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on August 6, 2022. (Photo by Mahmud HAMS / AFP)

The World Health Organization issues a statement warning that the health system in the Gaza Strip “is at a breaking point” amid the near-constant aerial bombardment by the IDF in response to Hamas’s onslaught last Saturday.

“Time is running out to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe if fuel and life-saving health and humanitarian supplies cannot be urgently delivered to the Gaza Strip amidst the complete blockade,” WHO says.

“Hospitals have only a few hours of electricity each day, as they are forced to ration depleting fuel reserves and rely on generators to sustain the most critical functions. Even these functions will have to cease in a few days when fuel stocks are due to run out.”

“As injuries and fatalities continue to rise due to the ongoing air strikes on the Gaza Strip, acute shortages of medical supplies are compounding the crisis, limiting the response capacity of already overstretched hospitals to treat the sick and injured,” WHO adds.

WHO says it has documented 34 attacks on health care in Gaza since last Saturday that have resulted in the death of 11 health workers on duty, 16 injuries, and damages to 19 health facilities and 20 ambulances.

WHO calls for an end to the fighting and the immediate establishment of a humanitarian corridor for the currently besieged enclave.

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