Gaza’s largest hospital, Al-Shifa, has been labelled a ‘death zone’ by the World Health Organization (WHO), leading to plans for the evacuation of the remaining patients amid an escalation of Israeli military operations in the region.
News About Nigeria gathered that WHO officials, along with other United Nations representatives, visited the hospital following Israeli troop raids earlier this week.
The Israeli army has announced an expansion of operations to destroy Hamas, the Palestinian armed group, after attacks on October 7.
The ongoing air and ground campaign has resulted in a rising death toll, with the Hamas government reporting over 12,000 casualties, including more than 5,000 children.
In a visit to the hospital, WHO described Al-Shifa as a ‘death zone’ with a mass grave at the entrance and nearly 300 patients left inside along with 25 health workers.
Plans for the immediate evacuation of remaining patients, staff, and their families are underway, but nearby facilities are already strained.
The WHO has called for an immediate ceasefire, highlighting the ‘extreme suffering’ of Gaza’s population.
Recent strikes on a northern Gaza refugee camp, including a UN school sheltering displaced people, resulted in more than 80 deaths, according to a Hamas health official.
Another strike on a residential building in Khan Yunis killed at least 26 people. The Israeli army has declared its intention to destroy Hamas, blaming the group for the recent attacks.
The situation has led to mass displacement, with the UN reporting 1.6 million people displaced within the Gaza Strip.
Gaza’s dire humanitarian conditions, exacerbated by a prolonged Israeli siege, are causing severe shortages of food, water, medicine, and fuel.
International efforts to secure a ceasefire and address the hostage situation continue, with the US emphasizing a ‘significant pause’ in fighting contingent on the release of hostages held by Palestinian militants.