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Overwhelmed by War, Another Gazan Hospital Is Declared ‘Not Functional’

WorldOverwhelmed by War, Another Gazan Hospital Is Declared ‘Not Functional’

The largest medical facility still managing to function in wartime Gaza is now a hospital in little more than name only, the head of the World Health Organization said on Sunday.

After a week of siege by the Israeli military, there are only about 20 critically ill patients left at Nasser Hospital — but even that is too many for it to handle, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O. director general.

“Nasser hospital in Gaza is not functional anymore,” Dr. Tedros said on social media.

Dr. Tedros said on Sunday that some 200 patients remained at the hospital in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, and that about 20 of them urgently needed to be transferred elsewhere. “The cost of delays will be paid by patients’ lives,” he said.

Israel has justified its military actions at the hospital by saying that Hamas militants have been using it and other medical centers to conceal military activities, and on Sunday it said it had found both weapons and Hamas militants at the Nasser complex.

Hamas has repeatedly denied using hospitals as cover.

On Thursday, after days of repeated orders for the thousands of civilians taking shelter at the hospital to leave, Israeli forces began staging a raid.

Asked about the W.H.O. statement, a spokesman for the Israeli military, Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, said in a briefing that “it’s in our best interest that the hospital keeps functioning.” He said that work was being done to fix a broken generator there and that a temporary generator was in use.


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