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7 hospitals, 21 health care centres in Gaza "out of service": Palestinian Health Ministry

Gaza Border [Israel]: The ongoing Israeli airstrikes have forced seven hospitals and 21 primary healthcare centers in Gaza to become "out of service." Additionally, 64 medical staff members have lost their lives in the ongoing conflict, CNN quoted a spokesperson for the Palestinian Ministry of Health as saying on Friday.

"Due to the Israeli violations, seven hospitals are out of service and 21 Primary Health care centers as well. 64 medical staff were killed and 23 ambulances were destroyed," said the health ministry spokesperson Ashraf Al-Qidra.
CNN has not independently verified the extent of the casualties.

This dire situation was underscored by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in a statement on Thursday, stating that over 60 per cent of primary care facilities are currently closed, and Gaza's hospitals are on the brink of collapse. This crisis is primarily due to severe shortages of power, medicine, medical equipment, and specialised personnel.

Conditions in Gaza are worsening by the hour amid fears of a catastrophic humanitarian crisis and multiple rights groups are warning of the deadly consequences of ongoing shortages in the Gaza Strip and appealing for vital supplies to be allowed through the Rafah crossing.

A severe shortage of fuel, water, and electricity is crippling hospitals in Gaza, rendering some "out of service" and endangering lives, warns a top relief agency told CNN.

Fuel scarcity has pushed Gaza residents to use contaminated water, as much of the available water is undrinkable without fuel-dependent treatment processes, explains Hiba Tibi, the Country Director for CARE West Bank and Gaza in an interview with CNN.

"We need fuel to transport the clean water to the population. All of that is getting very complicated," Tibi said, adding,

"The most important thing for us is to ensure that we have access to fuel, for hospitals and water treatment units in Gaza."

"If we have water and electricity and fuel, specifically to generate these two main important necessities, the situation might look better ... to allow for saving lives," Tibi added.

As a result of the power, medicine, equipment, and personnel shortages, over 60 per cent of primary care facilities have shut down, and Gaza's hospitals teeter on the edge of collapse, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

OCHA further highlighted people resorting to use unsafe water sources, risking death and the outbreak of infectious diseases.

Protests against Israel's blockade of Gaza are expected throughout the Middle East, coinciding with fears that life-saving aid may remain stuck in Egypt for an extended period, as reported by CNN.

The death toll since October 7 in the Gaza Strip has risen to 4,127, with 1,661 children among the casualties, as reported by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza. An additional 13,162 people have been injured, said spokesperson Ashraf Al-Qidra, according to CNN.

Given the dire situation, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has arrived in northern Sinai, focusing on efforts to deliver humanitarian aid across the Egyptian border into Gaza, according to the UN spokesperson's office.

"For nearly two weeks, Gaza has gone without any shipments of fuel, food, water & medicine. The UN is focusing all its efforts for a sustained operation to deliver critical humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza," the UN spokesperson said in a post on social media. (ANI)

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