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Healthcare Crisis Amid Israeli Occupation in Southern Gaza

Gaza Strip has been grappling with the genocide waged by the Israeli occupation for nearly seven months, leading to the crushing and destruction of the region on every level, whether public or private. The Israeli occupation deliberately aims to obliterate the landmarks of the strip using its deadly and internationally prohibited weapons of all kinds. Since the beginning of this genocide, the healthcare system has been one of the primary targets for the occupation to disable, halt its operations, and destroy all its buildings.


Hospitals Under Siege Led to Destruction

Chief among the hospitals that have been destroyed and bombed in Khan Yunis Governorate, southern Gaza Strip, is Al-Amal Hospital, which has now turned into rubble and burnt buildings destroyed by Israeli aircraft, and Nasser Medical Hospital, which also has been suffered significant destruction. Additionally, both hospitals were subjected to siege by the occupation and arbitrary arrests of medical staff and patients.

Dr. Haider Al-Qaddura, Director of Al-Amal Hospital, stated that all hospital departments were devastated due to the Israeli aggression, leading to the hospital going out of service. Many medical devices were destroyed or disabled, and the hospital’s electricity generators were also sabotaged by the Israeli army. The destruction in the hospital is immense, and there is extensive damage to the building as well, which will hinder our return to work easily.

During the military operation in Khan Yunis, the Israeli occupation forces broke into Al-Amal Hospital multiple times and bombed the hospital buildings with artillery and aerial weapons, as well as continuous gunfire that penetrated the hospital walls, whether from heavy Israeli weapons or its drones. The occupation forces also arrested many medical teams who insisted on staying in the hospital despite all threats from the occupiers. Moreover, patients and the wounded were not spared from Israeli brutality, as some of them were subjected to direct physical assault, torture, or arbitrary arrest.

About the Israeli aggression on Nasser Medical Hospital and its invasion on February 15th, Dr. Shihab Al-Najjar, one of the doctors who were besieged in the hospital, said, “We were surprised by a special Israeli force attacking the area and executing several civilians outside the walls of Nasser Hospital. Then the Israeli army stormed the hospital and executed several medical teams and refugees in the hospital courtyard.” Al-Najjar added, “Three days after these events, the Israeli army ordered the evacuation of Nasser Hospital. During the evacuation, males were completely stripped as ordered by the Israeli army. As for females, they were ordered to uncover their heads, and then the Israeli army arrested and interrogated us.” Al-Najjar consequently indicated “Half of the medical teams were sent back to Nasser Hospital, and the other half were detained and interrogated, then ordered to go to the Jordanian field hospital. Unfortunately, while they were on their way, they were fired upon, and 13 people were executed.” The Israeli occupation forces declared the end of their military operation in Nasser Medical Hospital on February 25. Where on April 21st, Palestinian Civil Defense forces discovered a mass grave in the hospital courtyard. According to the Palestinian Civil Defense spokesperson, Mahmoud Basal, 190 bodies of Palestinians executed by the Israeli army were exhumed and buried in a mass grave in the hospital courtyard.


Healthcare Crisis Deepens Amidst Hospital Overload and Resource Shortages

Moving to the central area of Gaza Strip, a tent for displaced persons at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah city was subjected to Israeli shelling, resulting in the death of two people and injuring dozens.

Dr. Mohammed Rayan, head of the emergency department at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, said, “The hospital suffers from a severe shortage of medical supplies. We are talking about very basic tools, medications, and equipment that could save the lives of the injured and wounded, which are currently unavailable, increasing the suffering of patients and the injured inside the hospital.”

Rayan added, “Al-Aqsa Hospital is the only hospital in the central area where a large number of residents or displaced persons who fled from Israeli airstrikes to seek safety.” Rayan pointed out that “After Nasser Hospital went out of service completely due to Israeli aggression, injuries and patients in Khan Yunis Governorate are transferred to Al-Aqsa Hospital and the European Hospital. It is worth noting that Al-Aqsa Hospital is a large hospital compared to the European Hospital, which cannot handle the influx of patients. The entire hospital has been converted into a surgical hospital, from children’s departments to maternity and women’s departments, even heart departments have been converted into surgical departments. This increases the burden on medical teams, equipment shortages, and medical devices, as the medical devices have become worn out and do not provide the minimum of their

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