'Unimaginable' situation in Gaza hospital: Aid groups

Palestinians wounded in the Israeli bombardment are brought to a hospital in Rafah, Gaza Strip. Sunday, March 24, 2024.
Palestinians wounded in the Israeli bombardment are brought to a hospital in Rafah, Gaza Strip. Sunday, March 24, 2024. Copyright Hatem Ali/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AP
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International officials say Gaza's entire population of 2.3 million is suffering from food insecurity and that famine is imminent in the hard-hit north.

Aid groups that visited a packed Gaza hospital described an “unimaginable” situation in which large open wounds were left untreated.

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An emergency medical team organised by three aid groups spent two weeks carrying out surgeries and other care at the European Gaza Hospital near Khan Younis. The southern city has seen heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants since the start of the year.

The hospital has expanded to 1,000 beds from its original capacity of 200 to accommodate patients from Nasser Hospital, the main hospital in Khan Younis, which Israeli forces raided last month. 

An estimated 22,000 people are also sheltering at the European Gaza Hospital.

The visiting surgeons “reported large infected open wounds on patients and having to administer emergency nutritional supplies to patients as the lack of food was jeopardising patient treatment.”

In a statement released Monday, the team said healthcare workers had been forced to evacuate or were unable to access the hospital. 

It said Israeli restrictions had led to shortages of medical supplies, including basics like gauze and plates and screws used to stabilize broken bones.

Israel accuses Hamas of using hospitals and other civilian facilities to shield its fighters and has raided a number of medical facilities since the start of the war. 

Most of Gaza’s hospitals have been forced to shut down, even as scores are killed and wounded each day in Israeli strikes.

Israel’s offensive has killed over 32,000 Palestinians, and experts warn that even more are at risk of dying from disease and starvation.

The war began on 7 October, when Hamas-led militants stormed into Israel and killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted around 250 people.

The emergency medical team was organized by Medical Aid for Palestinians, the International Rescue Committee and the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.

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