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Al-Shifa hospital ‘an empty shell with human graves’: WHO chief

The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) says Gaza’s main health facility al-Shifa is no longer functional because of months of Israeli siege and attacks on the facility.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says said in a post on the X platform on Saturday that a team of WHO and partners had managed to tour al-Shifa to assess the situation in the hospital days after the Israeli regime’s military ended a two-week siege and attacks on the facility which caused massive destruction in it and led to scores of deaths among patients and medical staff.

“@WHO and partners managed to reach Al-Shifa — once the backbone of the health system in #Gaza, which is now an empty shell with human graves after the latest siege,” Ghebreyesussays said.

“Most of the buildings in the hospital complex are extensively destroyed and the majority of assets damaged or reduced to ashes. Even restoring minimal functionality in the short term seems implausible,” he added.

The comments come amid growing condemnation of Israeli attacks on hospitals in Gaza where nearly 100,000 people have reportedly been injured as a result of nearly six months of Israeli aggression on the enclave.

Israel has sought to justify its brutal attacks and sieges on hospitals in Gaza by saying that they have been used as hideouts by resistance fighters in the territory. The regime has failed to provide any concrete evidence to back up its claims.

The WHO chief said rendering hospitals incapable of providing services to people in Gaza would exacerbate the situation in the territory where Israel’s one-sided war has led to an increase in life-threatening risks like famine, disease outbreaks and trauma injuries.

“WHO and partners’ recent effort to support the revival of basic services at Al-Shifa are now lost, and people are once again deprived of access to lifesaving health care services,” Ghebreyesus said.

Without mentioning the Israeli regime in his post, he urged increased protection of remaining health facilities as well as the health and humanitarian workers in Gaza while calling for the opening of more land crossings to allow unimpeded access into and across the enclave.

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