Fuel shortages knock out Gaza's second-largest hospital

Fuel shortages knock out Gaza's second-largest hospital
The health ministry says Gaza's second-largest hospital has gone 'completely out of service' due to lack of fuel and fighting around the facility.
2 min read
18 February, 2024
Gaza's health ministry Ashraf al-Qudra says lack of fuel and fighting around Khan Younis' Nasser Hospital had put it out of action [Getty]

Fighting, fuel shortages and Israeli raids put the Gaza Strip's second-largest hospital completely out of service on Sunday, local and UN health officials said, as Israel continues its military offensive in the devastated Palestinian enclave.

The Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis still sheltered scores of patients suffering from war wounds and Gaza's worsening health crisis, but there was no power and not enough staff to treat them all, health officials said.

"It's gone completely out of service," Gaza health ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra told news agency Reuters.

"There are only four medical teams- 25 staff- currently caring for patients inside the facility," he said.

Gaza's hospitals have been a focal point of the four-month-old war in the Gaza Strip.

Most have been put out of action by fighting and lack of fuel, leaving a population of 2.3 million without proper healthcare while tens of thousands have been wounded by airstrikes and many others suffer from chronic illness and, increasingly, starvation.

Israel has raided medical facilities alleging that Hamas keeps weapons and hostages in hospitals. Hamas denies this. The international community says hospitals, which are protected under international law, must be protected.

The World Health Organization (WHO) urged Israel to grant its staff access to the hospital, where it said a week-long siege and raids by Israeli forces searching for Hamas members had stopped them from helping patients.

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"Both yesterday and the day before, the @WHO team was not permitted to enter the hospital to assess the conditions of the patients and critical medical needs, despite reaching the hospital compound to deliver fuel," WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on social media platform X.

Israel's military has alleged it was looking for Hamas fighters in Nasser and had arrested dozens of suspects on the premises and killed others near the hospital.

Hamas has denied allegations that its fighters use medical facilities for cover.

Israel's air and ground offensive has devastated much of Gaza and forced nearly all of its inhabitants from their homes. Palestinian health authorities say 28,985 people, mostly civilians, have been killed.