WHO: no hospitals remain functional in north Gaza

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Thursday that the last functioning hospital in northern Gaza has now become minimally operational due to lack of fuel, staff, and supplies. The WHO reported that all injured patients who are unable to be relocated are now “waiting to die”. The Al-Ahli hospital was the last hospital in the north of Gaza that was able to provide surgery for the injured.

The UN emphasized that this development in the escalating crisis and ongoing conflict strengthens the case for a ceasefire to prevent further deaths. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the UN has been “severely restricted” in its ability to provide humanitarian aid due to the fighting, lack of electricity, lack of fuel, and telecommunication blackouts and disruptions. This comes after a resolution vote in the UN Security Council on Friday to “allow, facilitate and enable immediate, safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale directly to the Palestinian civilian population throughout the Gaza Strip”.

At the vote, the US abstained from voting and said that it continues to support humanitarian pauses rather than a ceasefire, and expressed disappointment of the lack of condemnation of Hamas.

The UN Health Agency has reported that only nine of 36 health facilities are partially functional, with none remaining in the north. In addition to the deteriorating health care system, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) warns of “catastrophic hunger and famine risk”.

Since the beginning of the conflict on 7 October, the death toll is an estimated 20,360 Palestinians and 1,139 Israelis, with the majority of the death toll being children.