Ahead of Israel’s military crackdown, doctors in Gaza warned on Sunday that thousands of patients could die if hospitals overflowing with wounded ran out of fuel, medicine and basic supplies. Before the Israeli attack, civilians are struggling to find food, water and safe places. After Hamas’s unexpected attack last week, Israel has cordoned off the entire Gaza area and ordered Palestinians to evacuate the northern areas and move towards the south. With the increased deployment of American warships in the region, the Israeli army has mobilized on the Gaza border. Israel has said that it will launch a comprehensive campaign to eliminate the extremist group Hamas.
Gaza’s health ministry has said 2,329 Palestinians have been killed since the fighting began. This number is more than the war that broke out between Israel and Gaza in 2014. This war lasted for more than six weeks. More than 1,300 Israelis have been killed in this conflict, most of them civilians, in Hamas’ October 7 attack. About 150 people, including children, were taken hostage by Hamas and taken to Gaza. This is the deadliest war for Israel since the 1973 conflict with Egypt and Syria. The United Nations and aid groups have said such a rapid exodus, coupled with Israel’s complete blockade of the 40-kilometre-long coastal zone, would lead to a severe humanitarian crisis. According to the United Nations, Gaza’s only power plant has completely shut down due to lack of fuel.
Gaza’s hospitals are also likely to run out of generator fuel within two days, putting the lives of thousands of patients in danger. The intensive care units (ICU) at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis are filled with injured patients, most of whom are children under three years of age. Dr Mohammad Qandil, a consultant at the Critical Care Complex, said hundreds of people seriously injured by the explosion have come to the hospital, which is expected to run out of fuel by Monday. He said that 35 patients in the ICU are on ventilator and another 60 are on dialysis. “If the fuel runs out, it means the entire health system will collapse, services will stop,” Qandil said. “We are facing a disaster, another war crime, a historical tragedy.” Moving towards. If the power supply fails, all these patients are in danger of death.
Dr. Hussam Abu Safia, head of the pediatrics department at Kamal Alwan Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip, said that despite Israeli orders the hospital was not evacuated because there was no way to take patients elsewhere. He said that seven newborn babies are on ventilator in the ICU. Safia said that injured patients are coming with severed limbs and serious injuries. Gaza is already in a humanitarian crisis due to shortages of water and medical supplies due to the Israeli siege. Residents said they are unable to even buy bread as some bakeries are closed. Al Shifa Hospital, Gaza City’s largest hospital, said it would carry out a mass burial of 100 bodies as an emergency measure due to its morgue being overwhelmed. The hospital said that this step is being taken as the relatives are unable to bury the body.
Thousands of people have gathered for shelter in the grounds of Al Shifa Hospital, the main hospital of the Gaza Strip, ahead of possible action by Israeli ground forces. “People feel this is the only safe place to go after their homes were destroyed and they were forced to flee,” said Dr. Medhat Abbas, a health ministry official. Gaza city is a horrific scene of devastation. Israel’s army ordered more than 1 million Palestinians to evacuate northern Gaza. The army has said it is trying to evacuate civilians ahead of a major operation against Hamas militants in the north, including from underground bases in Gaza City. Hamas urged people to stay in their homes. At the same time, the Israeli army released pictures and said that Hamas is stopping the traffic on the road from going south.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said the evacuation of more than 2,000 patients, including newborns and those in intensive care, in hospitals in the north “could be tantamount to a death sentence.” Juliet, a spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, said: Touma said about a quarter of Gaza’s population, about 500,000 people, were taking shelter in UN schools and other centers across the territory, where water supplies were dwindling.
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