Gaza hospital struggles to function with dwindling power and continuous airstrikes

AP , Friday 20 Oct 2023

The director of Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest, says generators in the hospital are operating at the lowest setting to provide power to vital departments that cannot function without electricity, while others work in darkness, while the destruction and impact from Israeli airstrikes in retaliation for the Oct. 7 attack is visible in satellite imagery of blocks levelled by missiles and smoke rising over the blast zones.

Shifa Hospital
Wounded Palestinians arrive at al-Shifa hospital following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. AP

 

The hospital is prioritizing intensive care, nursery, dialysis, oxygen generation, obstetrics and gynecology, heart care and the blood bank, Mohammed Abu Selmia said.

“I don’t know how long it will last. Every day we evaluate the situation,” he said.

The numbers of wounded coming to the hospital is so high it’s difficult to identify them, he said. Water is scarce, and patients with chronic diseases and cancer are suffering.

Asked what medical supplies were needed most, he said all medicines related to emergency care, intensive care and operations, obstetrics and gynecology and dialysis medications. Doctors can’t treat patients without these supplies, he said. “We cannot function without it.”

An overview of Shifa Hospital showed where tents were set up in what used to be a grassy, tree-covered area next to the hospital. Some hospitals have set up tents to treat the wounded and temporarily house the dead.

Along a stretch of road near the beach, a series of round craters marked the spots where airstrikes hit the dirt and didn’t flatten homes.

The destruction and impact from Israeli airstrikes in retaliation for the Oct. 7 attack is visible in satellite imagery of blocks levelled by missiles and smoke rising over the blast zones, and also in more subtle photos.

Images by Maxar Technologies showed people sheltering in the courtyards at two schools in Gaza City and one in Deir al Balah on Thursday.

A tractor appeared to be overturning fresh soil to make way for new graves as the Marzouq Street cemetery expands in Gaza City.

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