Gaza Al-Shifa hospital destroyed - WHO 02 April 2024
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Edited News | WHO

Gaza Al-Shifa hospital destroyed - WHO - 02 April 2024

Destruction of Al-Shifa hospital ‘rips heart out of Gaza health system’: WHO

The Israeli military's raid of Al-Shifa hospital in the past two weeks has destroyed Gaza's biggest medical facility, “ripping the heart out” of the enclave's healthcare system, the UN World Health Organization said on Tuesday.

“It was the tertiary care center, it was a huge hospital: 750 beds, 25 operating theaters, 30 intensive care rooms. It was the place people go to for the kind of care that a really good health system provides,” explained Dr Margaret Harris, WHO spokesperson.

Israeli special forces left the Gaza City hospital on Monday, after a two-week operation in which they reported the detention of hundreds of suspected Palestinian militants. Israel said Hamas fighters had based themselves there; Hamas and medical staff deny the allegations.

Speaking to journalists in Geneva, Dr Harris said the hospital “directors told us that Al-Shifa hospital has ‘gone’, it’s no longer able to function in any way, shape or form as a hospital. At least 21 patients died during the period of the siege. We also know that the staff had to bring the patients together in a building that wasn't even a clinical building. It was a human resources administration area. They had no water, food, they were sharing one bottle of water between 15 people,” she added.

If permission is granted on Tuesday to reach Al-Shifa and northern Gaza’s last few remaining health facilities, priorities for WHO teams include bringing medicines, fuel and food – and assessing what additional supplies are needed to save the remaining patients. The WHO says the agency has been trying to go “for days and days” and most of the missions have been rejected.

The development comes amid renewed safety concerns for aid operations in the Gaza Strip after World Central Kitchen reported that an Israeli airstrike on one of its vehicles had killed seven aid workers in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza. Images of the NGO vehicle show a large hole in its roof.

WHO’s Dr Harris maintained that the NGO mission had been agreed with the Israeli authorities ahead of time. “This was an agreed mission with this team, it was ‘de-conflicted’. ‘De-conflicted’ means both sides know they are coming, both sides have agreed. The car was well marked, it was very clear it was World Central Kitchen. Now this is happening,” she said. “And remember, hundreds of health care workers have been killed while doing their job,” along with thousands of civilians, including 13,000 children, amid constant Israeli bombardment launched after Hamas-led terror attacks on Israel on 7 October that left some 1,200 dead and more than 350 taken hostage.

A UN health agency team also intends to visit Kamal Adwan Hospital in Gaza City where there are already dire concerns about the growing number of babies being born too underweight to survive.

The facility is already admitting at least 15 malnourished children per day and the needs are growing, according to the WHO. In a renewed call for a ceasefire, Dr Harris insisted that “the ceasefire, the UN resolution – the world has agreed a ceasefire must happen. It should have happened months ago, but it must happen now.”

 

Ends

 

Story: Gaza Al-Shifa hospital destroyed – WHO – 02 April 2024

 

Speaker is Dr Margaret Harris, WHO spokesperson

 

TRT: 2’04”
SOURCE: UNTV CH
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
DATELINE: 02 April 2024 - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
Geneva Press briefing



SHOTLIST

 

  1. Exterior medium shot: UN flag alley  
  2. Wide shot of Press conference room with journalists
  3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Margaret Harris, WHO spokesperson: “The directors told us that Al-Shifa hospital has ‘gone’, that it's no longer able to function in any shape or form as a hospital. We know that at least 21 patients died during the period of the siege. We also know that the staff had to bring the patients together in a building that wasn't even a clinical building. It was a human resources administration area. They had no water, food, they were sharing one bottle of water between 15 people.”
  4. Medium shot: Press room podium with speakers
  5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Margaret Harris, WHO spokesperson: “Destroying Al-Shifa means ripping the heart out of the health system. It was the tertiary care center. It was a huge hospital: 750 beds, 25 operating theaters, 30 intensive care rooms. It was the place people go to for the kind of care that a really good health system provides.
  6. Wide shot: Press conference room 
  7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Margaret Harris, WHO spokesperson: “This was an agreed mission with this team, it was ‘de-conflicted’. ‘De-conflicted’ means both sides know they are coming, both sides have agreed. The car was well marked, it was very clear it was World Central Kitchen. Now this is happening. And remember, hundreds of health care workers have been killed while doing their job. Ambulance drivers and, of course, thousands of civilians, more than 13,000 of them children.”
  8. Wide shot of Press conference room
  9. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Margaret Harris, WHO spokesperson: “The ceasefire, the UN resolution, the world has agreed: a ceasefire must happen. It should have happened months ago, but it must happen now.
  10. Various shots of the Press room


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