Gaza: Hospitals at the Brink of Closure and the International Response


Gaza: Hospitals at the Brink of Closure and the International Response
Gaza: Hospitals at the Brink of Closure and the International Response © Getty Images News/Ahmad Hasaballah

Gaza City faces a critical situation as the Al-Quds Hospital, operated by the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), is on the brink of shutting down. The hospital is in dire straits due to the depletion of fuel supplies, with PRCS warning of imminent closure within hours.

This situation places the lives of 500 patients, including those in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and infants in incubators, at grave risk. The potential loss of life is alarming, as the hospital struggles to maintain its essential services amid dwindling resources.

This crisis is not isolated to Al-Quds Hospital. The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah reported that 18 out of 35 functioning hospitals in Gaza have already ceased operations. The reduction of medical facilities is exacerbating the healthcare crisis in the region, where medical care is more crucial than ever.

The Escalating Conflict and Its Impact on Healthcare

The conflict in Gaza is intensifying, affecting not only the Al-Quds Hospital but other medical facilities as well. Al Nasr and Al Rantisi pediatric hospitals, under the direction of Mustafa al-Kahlout, report being encircled by tanks, severely hindering access and evacuation.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) assert their right to target Hamas, which they accuse of embedding within civilian infrastructure, including healthcare facilities. This has led to a precarious situation for hospitals in the region.

The World Health Organization expressed extreme disturbance over reports of Israeli attacks near Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital. While the Hamas-run media office accuses the IDF of striking the hospital, Israel contends that the damage was caused by a misfired projectile launched from within Gaza.

This complexity adds to the challenges faced by healthcare providers in the region.

International Responses and the Call for Ceasefire

Amidst this escalating crisis, international responses are surfacing. French President Emmanuel Macron has emphasized that a ceasefire is the only viable solution to the conflict, urging global leaders to support this stance.

He asserts that there is no justification for attacks on civilians, highlighting the need for international intervention. Saudi Arabia is also stepping up, announcing a Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit to address the unprecedented circumstances in Gaza. This move underscores the urgency of the situation and the need for a coordinated response.