WHO: North Gaza hospitals are under bombardment. Friday saw shelling on the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip as well as one housing children on life support, according to the World Health Organization. It stated that twenty hospitals in Gaza were now completely closed.
“I haven’t got the detail on Al Shifa but we do know they are coming under bombardment,” said Margaret Harris, a WHO spokesperson, in response to a question concerning the Gaza Health Ministry’s claim of an Israeli hit on the courtyard of the Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City.
Additionally, she claimed, there was “significant bombardment” of the Rantissi facility, which is the sole pediatric facility in North Gaza.
When pressed for details, she cited colleagues on the ground to claim that there was “intense violence” at the Shifa facility. She abstained from placing blame.
The main hospital in the region is located in Gaza City, which is surrounded by Israeli forces and is where Gaza families have been taking refuge. Israel claims that militants have made the region their headquarters and have ordered the locals to relocate south.
Harris said, “There are children at the Rantissi hospital receiving dialysis and on life support; it is not possible to safely evacuate them.”
Speaking at the same briefing, Jens Laerke, the spokesperson for the U.N. humanitarian office, claimed that there had been some “issues” bringing aid into Gaza via the Rafah border with Egypt, claiming that the crossing was intended for people instead of trucks.
It stated that just 65 trucks, comprising seven ambulances, food, medication, supplies for hygiene, and water, arrived in Gaza on Wednesday from Egypt. This number is far lower than what existed before the fighting.
He said none of the aid could go to northern Gaza. “We cannot drive to the north at the current point, which is deeply frustrating because we know there are several hundred thousand people who remain in the north,” stated Laerke.
“If there is a hell on earth today, it’s name is northern Gaza,” he stated. “It is a life of fear by day and darkness at night and what do you tell your children in such a situation, it’s almost unimaginable – that the fire they see in the sky is out to kill them?” he said.
To let in additional supplies, he pleaded with Israel to reopen the Kerem Shalom border.
In response to a fatal cross-border assault by Hamas terrorists on October 7, Israel has instituted four-hour fighting breaks in the northern Gaza strip to allow Palestinians to escape the brunt of its retaliation attacks on the enclave.
Laerke criticized the breaks, claiming they weren’t organized with the UU.N “For this to be done safely for humanitarian purposes, it has to be agreed with all parties,” he stated.
In addition, he expressed worries about the congestion in Gaza’s shelters as tens of thousands of residents flee south. The UU.N.Palestinian refugee organization, UNRWA, runs shelters for displaced Gazans. “It can only make the situation of overcrowding in UNRWA facilities – and thank god for them – it can only make it worse,” he said.