We Heard ‘Harrowing Accounts’ in Gaza – WHO Chief

Israel intensified its attacks against Gaza hospitals. (Photo: via social media)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

World Health Organization (WHO) staff visiting Al-Aqsa Hospital in the Gaza Strip heard ‘harrowing accounts’ from patients and medical staff about the consequences of the Israeli airstrike in the central part of the enclave.

The accounts were conveyed following the recent bombardment of the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reported on his X page that WHO representatives visited Al-Aqsa Hospital on Monday. 

According to the medical facility, a total of about 100 wounded were admitted the night before. Earlier, Palestinian health officials reported that at least 70 people were killed in the Israeli airstrike. That number increased in the following hours. 

‘Many Will Not Survive’

“WHO’s team heard harrowing accounts shared by health workers and victims of the suffering caused by the explosions,” Ghebreyesus wrote. 

“One child had lost their whole family in the strike on the camp. A nurse at the hospital suffered the same loss, with his entire family killed,” the WHO chief said.

Medical staff at the hospital “desperately tried to save a 9-year-old boy, named Ahmed, who suffered severe head injuries after being hit by shrapnel and debris from an explosion while he was crossing the road.” 

“Doctors told us that his injuries were so serious he would not survive,” the WHO chief said.

“The hospital is taking in far more patients than its bed capacity and staff can handle,” and “many will not survive the wait.” 

‘Unbearable Strain’

The hospital currently has five operating theaters, with two more supported by Doctors Without Borders, “but this is still not enough,” Ghebreyesus explained. 

“Due to the ever-increasing scale of needs caused by the carnage, WHO is continuing to support the health system across Gaza, despite insecurity and significant logistical hurdles,” he pointed out.

The WHO chief “is extremely concerned about the unbearable strain that escalating hostilities are putting on the few hospitals across Gaza that remain open.” At the same time, “most of the health system was decimated and brought to its knees.” 

Ghebreyesus pointed to the need for an immediate ceasefire. After the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling for an urgent humanitarian pause, this latest strike in Gaza shows ” just why we need a ceasefire now,” the WHO chief concluded.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 20,915 Palestinians have been killed, and 54,918 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7. Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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(The Palestine Chronicle)

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