Thousands lack proper healthcare services in northern Gaza, Health Ministry says

Thousands lack proper healthcare services in northern Gaza, Health Ministry says

Several hospitals raided by Israeli army during its offensive on Gaza Strip

By Yaqout Dandashi

ISTANBUL (AA) - More than 730,000 people lack proper healthcare services in the northern Gaza Strip, the Health Ministry warned on Thursday.

“The Israeli occupation deliberately destroyed the healthcare system in Gaza City and the northern provinces,” ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra said in a statement.

He said the destruction of Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in the Gaza Strip, “has dealt a deadly blow to the healthcare system in Gaza.”

“This has left more than 730,000 people in northern Gaza without real healthcare services,” he added.

The ministry spokesman called for setting up field hospitals and the dispatch of international medical teams “to help meet the urgent need of the population in northern Gaza for healthcare services.”

Al-Qudra accused the Israeli army of “deliberately targeting medical personnel and patients during its attacks on hospitals in northern Gaza.”

Several hospitals were raided by the Israeli army during its offensive on the Gaza Strip, with Tel Aviv accusing Hamas of using medical facilities for military purposes, a claim vehemently denied by the Palestinian group.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7, 2023 cross-border attack by Hamas in which nearly 1,200 people were killed.

At least 33,900 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have since been killed in Gaza, and over 76,600 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Palestinian enclave, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

*Writing by Rania Abu Shamala in Istanbul

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