‘Hospitals Must Not be Attacked’ – WHO Chief on Israel’s Siege of Nasser Hospital

The Israeli army forced Palestinians in the Nasser Hospital to vacate the hospital complex. (Photo: video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The Nasser Medical Complex in Gaza has been under siege by Israeli forces for several days, with reports of civilian casualties, obstructed access, and denied humanitarian missions. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) as well as Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have voiced concern about the situation unfolding at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, south Gaza Strip, as Israeli forces continue its siege and shelling of the medical facility.

“Civilians killed, orders to evacuate people seeking shelter, the northern wall demolished: I am alarmed by what is reportedly happening at Nasser Medical Complex in Gaza after being under siege for around a week,” said Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the WHO on X, on Wednesday. 

Ghebreyesus said hostilities have reportedly destroyed storage facilities for medical equipment and supplies, while “access to the hospital remains obstructed — there is no safe corridor for those in need.”

He stressed that “Two WHO missions have been denied in the last four days and we lost touch with the hospital’s personnel.”

“We have seen before how depriving hospitals of resources and access halts lifesaving services,” the WHO chief added. 

He said “Nasser is the backbone of the health system in southern Gaza. It must be protected. Humanitarian access must be allowed.”

 “Hospitals must be safeguarded so that they can serve their life-saving function,” Ghebreyesus continued, adding: 

“They must not be militarized or attacked.”

Nasser Hospital under Fire – Displaced Palestinians Killed, Wounded

Afraid to Leave

MSF, meanwhile, said in a statement on X that, “We are very worried about the situation unfolding at Nasser hospital in Khan Younis.” 

 The organization on Tuesday called on Israeli forces “to ensure that all medical staff, patients and displaced people are unharmed.”

 MSF said Israeli forces ordered all displaced people sheltering inside the hospital, the largest in southern Gaza, to evacuate the facility.

“Medical staff and patients were told that they may remain in the hospital with a limit of one caretaker per patient,” the organization added. 

“People are afraid to leave the hospital because they hear reports of people being shot at. Those who wish to leave must be granted safe passage out,” it stressed.

Crisis at Nasser Hospital – Israel Kills 133 Palestinians in 24 Hours

Hamas Appeals to World Bodies 

The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, warned on Wednesday of “the catastrophic situation” faced by the displaced, wounded and medical teams at the Nasser Medical Complex, “as the criminal occupation army tightens its siege on it, completely cutting off supplies.” 

“Those in the hospital now lack the most basic necessities of life, including medicines and food…,” the movement said. 

“We call on the United Nations and relevant parties to take immediate and urgent action to prevent the occupation army from storming the hospital, to avoid a horrific massacre,” Hamas added.  

The movement also demanded the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization to “urgently take action to bring in the necessary food, water, and medicine to the hospital to save those in it, according to their legal, humanitarian, and moral duties and responsibilities.”

Two Killed inside Nasser Hospital, as MSF Warns against ‘Catastrophic’ Invasion of Rafah

Deployment of Snipers

On Tuesday, the Gaza Health Ministry said several displaced Palestinians were killed and injured in an Israeli shelling of the hospital. 

The casualties occurred as displaced civilians leaving the Nasser Medical Complex came under fire from Israeli forces, the ministry added in a statement, but did not provide an exact figure.

“The occupation forces ordered the hospital management to evacuate the displaced and keep the patients and medical staff inside, which puts them in extreme danger,” the ministry said.

On Saturday, MSF said two Palestinians were killed and five others wounded after shots were fired into the Nasser Hospital.

Al Amal, Kamal Nasser Hospitals under Siege – Israeli Genocide in Gaza Continues

Death Toll Mounts

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 28,576 Palestinians have been killed, and 68,291 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7. 

Moreover, at least 8,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

 Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all of the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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