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WHO chief says Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital no longer functioning as medical facility

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published November 13,2023
People stand outside the emergency ward of Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on November 10, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement. (AFP File Photo)

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Sunday that Al-Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip is no longer operating as a medical facility, citing a concerning rise in patient fatalities.

"Regrettably, the hospital is not functioning as a hospital anymore. The world cannot stand silent while hospitals, which should be safe havens, are transformed into scenes of death, devastation and despair," Tedros wrote on X.

Emphasizing "the dire and perilous" situation at the hospital, he highlighted that for the past three days, the facility has lacked electricity and water and has poor internet connectivity, severely hampering its ability to provide essential care.

"Tragically, the number of patient fatalities has increased significantly," he said, reiterating his call for a cease-fire in the Palestinian enclave.

Israel has been carrying out relentless air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip -- including on hospitals, residences and houses of worship -- since the Palestinian group Hamas launched a cross-border attack on Oct. 7.

Since then, the number of deaths in the ongoing Israeli attacks has surpassed 11,100, including more than 8,000 women and children, the government media office in Gaza said on Sunday.

The Israeli death toll is nearly 1,200, according to official figures.