Israel-Hamas war

WHO says Israeli raid on Gaza hospital is totally unacceptable

Reuters

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WHO says Israeli raid on Gaza hospital is totally unacceptable

Palestinians check the damage on an ambulance after a convoy of ambulances was hit, at the entrance of Shifa hospital in Gaza City, November 3, 2023.

REUTERS/Anas al-Shareef

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says patients and staff must be protected even if hospitals are used for military purposes. 'Hospitals are not battlegrounds,' he says.

GENEVA, Switzerland – The World Health Organization head said on Wednesday, November 15, that the Israeli military incursion into Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza was “totally unacceptable.”

Israeli troops entered Shifa, Gaza’s biggest hospital, on Wednesday as part of their assault on the Palestinian territory.

Israel says Hamas fighters have a headquarters in tunnels beneath it. Hamas denies this is the case.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference in Geneva that patients and staff must be protected even if hospitals were used for military purposes.

“Hospitals are not battlegrounds,” he said.

Tedros, who earlier on Wednesday had said the WHO had lost touch with health personnel at Shifa, said the organization had no reports of the numbers of deaths and injuries in Gaza for the last three days, making it harder to assess the state of the healthcare system there.

He said one WHO staff member had described it as: “No water, no electricity, only bombing, bombing, bombing.”

Tedros reiterated calls for a ceasefire and better access for aid into Gaza, as well as for the release of Israeli hostages being held there by Hamas.

Separately, UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said he was “appalled” by the reports of the Israeli raid on Shifa.

“The protection of newborns, patients, medical staff and all civilians must override all other concerns,” Griffiths wrote on X. – Rappler.com

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