Israel-Hamas war: Over 118 medical facilities attacked – WHO

MORE than 550 attacks have been launched on hospitals and other medical infrastructure by the war between Hamas and Israel, according to the latest data on attacks on health facilities released by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The war which began on October 7, 2023, following an airstrike launched by a military group from Gaza to southern Israel, has almost neared 100 days. 

WHO said that 304 attacks have been launched on the healthcare infrastructure in the Gaza Strip since 7 October. Also, the attacks have affected 94 healthcare facilities (including 26 hospitals damaged out of 36) and 79 ambulances.

In the West Bank, 286 attacks caused seven deaths and 52 injuries. Some 24 health facilities were affected along with 212 ambulances.

This brings the number of health facilities affected to 118 and a total of 291 ambulances affected. According to WHO, no fewer than 613 people have died within health facilities while more than 770 have sustained various forms of injuries.

The WHO spokesperson, Christian Lindmeier, said the “ongoing reduction of humanitarian space plus the continuing attacks on healthcare are pushing the people of Gaza to breaking point.”

He added that thousands of children in the Gaza Strip have been faced with not only violent attacks but increasing threats of diseases like cases of diarrhoea and rising food poverty among children.

Also, the head of the United Nations Children’s Fund, Catherine Russell, in a statement, said “Young lives are increasingly at risk from preventable diseases and lack of food and water. All children and civilians must be protected from violence and have access to basic services and supplies.”

She noted that cases of diarrhoea in children under five rose from 48,000 to 71,000 in just one week starting Dec. 17, 2023, equivalent to 3,200 new cases of diarrhoea per day, adding that the significant increase indicated that child health in Gaza was “fast deteriorating.”

Meanwhile, the UN agency providing help to Palestinians said the total number of staff killed since the beginning of hostilities stood at 142.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees also reported that since October 7, 2023, up to 1.9 million people, representing 85 per cent of the total population, have been displaced across the Gaza Strip, some multiple times.



    The UNRWA said that nearly 1.4 million internally displaced persons had taken shelter in 155 UNRWA facilities across all five governorates of the Gaza Strip.

    This figure includes 160,000 in the north and Gaza City, according to data revised shortly after the escalation began.

    Another 500,000 people “are in close vicinity of these installations and receiving assistance” from UNRWA, the UN agency said in an update.

    The ICIR reported several attempts of ceasefire by both countries to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip

    Kehinde Ogunyale tells stories by using data to hold power into account. You can send him a mail at [email protected] or Twitter: Prof_KennyJames

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