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Israel destroys Gaza's largest hospital, WHO says

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-03 06:04

A Palestinian searches for dead bodies near Al Shifa Hospital after Israeli forces withdrew from the hospital and the area around it following a two-week operation, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Gaza City on April 2. [Photo/Agencies]

GENEVA -- Attacks by the Israeli military in the past two weeks have destroyed Gaza's biggest medical facility, the Al-Shifa hospital, "ripping the heart out" of the enclave's healthcare system, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday.

"The directors told us that Al-Shifa hospital is 'gone'. It's no longer able to function in any shape or form as a hospital," WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris told journalists at a UN weekly briefing in Geneva.

"Al-Shifa was a tertiary care center(...)with 750 beds, 25 operating theaters and 30 intensive care rooms. It was the kind of place people can go to for the kind of care that a really good health system provides," said Harris.

At least 21 patients died during Israel's siege of the hospital. The UN Health Agency has been trying for days to reach Al-Shifa and northern Gaza's last few remaining health facilities, in a bid to bring medicines, fuel and food and to assess what additional supplies are needed to save the remaining patients.

The UN agency lamented that most of its missions to the hospital had been "rejected" by Israeli authorities.

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