In the midst of the Israel-Hamas conflict, a dire humanitarian situation has emerged, shedding light on the challenges faced by civilians in Gaza. Recent events at Al-Shifa hospital have intensified concerns as hundreds fled following Israel’s evacuation order, leaving behind 450 patients, according to Gaza health officials.
The Al-Shifa hospital, Gaza’s main medical facility, has become a focal point in the conflict, with Israel alleging that Hamas operates a center beneath it. Despite orders for evacuation, the hospital’s director, Mohammed Abu Salmiya, faced the challenging task of ensuring the safety of patients, wounded individuals, and medical staff.
Here are the key updates on the evolving situation at Al-Shifa hospital:
- Evacuation Orders: Israel urgently ordered the evacuation of Al-Shifa hospital via loudspeakers, urging patients and medical staff to move towards the seafront on foot.
- Humanitarian Impact: The United Nations estimated that over 2,300 individuals, including patients, staff, and displaced Palestinians, sought shelter at Al-Shifa. This development adds to the already dire humanitarian crisis in the region.
- Civilian Safety Measures: Palestinians were advised to move from the north of Gaza for their safety, as air strikes continued to target central and southern areas.
- Fuel Supply: A consignment of fuel entered Gaza, with Israel’s national security adviser emphasizing the decision’s aim to prevent the spread of epidemics amid the conflict.
- Hostage Situation: Israel claimed that approximately 1,200 people, mostly civilians, including 240 hostages, have been affected. The toll on Gaza’s population, particularly children, is alarming, with around 12,000 people, including 5,000 children, reported dead.
- Water and Sanitation Crisis: The UNRWA highlighted that 70 percent of south Gaza residents lack access to clean water. Raw sewage flowing on the streets raises concerns about the potential for widespread health issues.
- Humanitarian Response: UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths addressed the UN General Assembly, expressing concern over insufficient fuel supplies to meet the basic humanitarian needs of the affected population.
- Displacement and Healthcare: Over 1.5 million people in Gaza have been internally displaced, and more than half of the territory’s hospitals are no longer functional, exacerbating the challenges faced by the civilian population.
As the situation unfolds, the international community is urged to address the growing humanitarian crisis and work towards a resolution that ensures the safety and well-being of the affected population in Gaza.