WHO documents 178 Israeli attacks on healthcare facilities leaving more than 20 medical workers dead, 48 injured.

AP , Wednesday 22 Nov 2023

The World Health Organization has documented 178 Israeli attacks on healthcare facilities that killed 553 people, including 22 healthcare workers, since the war started on Oct. 7, the agency’s regional director said Wednesday.

Onlookers outside Gaza s largest hospital Al-Shifa gather around a Red Crescent ambulance damaged in a deadly Israeli strike. AFP


Ahmed Al-Mandhari said in an online briefing that about 800 people, including 48 healthcare workers, were injured in the attacks, which damaged 24 hospitals and 32 ambulances.

The war has forced the shutdown of 27 out of 36 hospitals and 47 out of 72 primary health care clinics across Gaza, he said. 

The facilities stopped providing services mainly because of a lack of fuel and attacks, he said.

“Hospitals must be allowed to replenish the resources they need to continue functioning,” he said. “We cannot keep providing drops of aid in an ocean of needs.”

WHO also said that one of its local staff members in Gaza was killed along with her family when a strike hit the home where they were sheltering.

It said Dima Abdullatif Mohammed Alhaj, 29, was killed Tuesday along with her husband, their 6-month-old son, and her two brothers.

The UN health agency said in a statement late Tuesday that over 50 people were reportedly killed in the strike. 

The war started after Hamas on October 7 launched the worst offensive in Israel's history, leaving 1,200 people dead, and an estimated 240 Israelis and foreigners were taken captives, according to Israeli officials.

Since then, Israel launched a bombing campaign and ground offensive in Gaza, which, according to the Palestinian health ministry, has killed at least 14,128 people, including 5,840 children and 3,920 women, with another 33,000 people wounded.

Dr. Rik Peeperkorn, WHO’s representative for the Palestinian territories, said Alhaj “was a wonderful person with a radiant smile, cheerful, positive, respectful. She was a true team player.”

Alhaj, who had worked as a patient administrator with WHO since 2019, was among hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who fled from northern Gaza to shelter in the south. 

She had left her home in Gaza City and was staying with relatives.

WHO said her death “is another example of the senseless loss in this war."

* This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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