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Infants are losing their lives in a hospital in Gaza City amidst the destruction and chaos.
Middle East World News

Infants are losing their lives in a hospital in Gaza City amidst the destruction and chaos.

On Sunday evening, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that 37 premature infants were moved to a different room at the hospital in Gaza without their incubators. Health workers attempted to warm up the room. As of Monday, six of these babies at Al-Shifa hospital have passed away, according to recent news updates.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, emphasized the urgent need for an end to the violence, stating that it is unacceptable for hospitals, which are meant to be places of refuge, to become sites of tragedy and hopelessness.

There are ongoing armed conflicts at Al-Shifa in Gaza City due to the Israeli military’s allegation that Hamas has constructed a command center beneath the hospital. However, healthcare workers at the hospital have refuted these claims.

The United Nations grieves.

On Monday, the UN lowered its flag to half-mast at its offices worldwide to honor the 101 employees of UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, who lost their lives in Gaza during Israel’s response to Hamas attacks in southern Israel on October 7.

“Today, we stand in solidarity with the UN community as we observe a moment of silence to remember and pay tribute to our colleagues who lost their lives in Gaza,” stated Cindy McCain, the head of the UN World Food Programme, on the social media platform X.

During a serious event held at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Director-General Tatiana Valovaya expressed gratitude to employees for their dedication, emphasizing the significance of their contributions during a time when the concept of multilateralism is being challenged.

The flag at the United Nations Headquarters in New York was hoisted and then lowered to half-mast at 7:30 AM local time. A moment of silence will also be held at the Headquarters at 9:30 AM.

The UN guest house is being attacked.

On Monday, UNRWA reported that its Rafah guesthouse suffered considerable destruction due to attacks by the Israeli navy on Sunday. Fortunately, no casualties were reported.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini stated that the lack of regard for safeguarding civilian infrastructure, such as UN buildings, medical facilities, schools, shelters, and places of worship, reflects the immense suffering experienced by civilians living in Gaza on a daily basis.

‘Not a target’

The UN has reaffirmed that humanitarians should never be targeted, regardless of where conflicts arise. Additionally, hospitals and medical personnel are granted specific protection under international humanitarian law.

The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that, along with the babies who passed away, 10 other patients have lost their lives at Al-Shifa hospital. Additionally, three nurses were killed during bombings and armed conflicts. The hospital’s crucial resources, such as the oxygen station, water tanks, cardiovascular facility, and maternity ward, have also been destroyed.

According to OCHA, some of the internally displaced individuals who were staying at the hospital, along with certain staff and patients, have been able to escape. However, there are others who remain trapped inside due to fear or physical limitations. Media sources reported on Monday morning that there could be thousands still inside the complex.

During the weekend, there were reports of additional attacks on medical facilities. According to OCHA, on Saturday an airstrike allegedly destroyed the Swedish clinic located in Ash Shati camp, situated west of Gaza city. The clinic was providing shelter to approximately 500 displaced individuals.

Over the weekend, Al Mahdi Hospital in Gaza city was struck by an airstrike, resulting in the deaths of two doctors and injuries to other individuals.

Struggle to survive

According to OCHA, the Ministry of Health in northern Gaza did not provide updated casualty numbers on Sunday, the second day in a row, due to the disruption of services and communication at local hospitals.

The most recent update on Friday revealed that the death toll in the Strip since October 7th has reached 11,078. Israeli government sources report that 47 soldiers have died since the beginning of ground operations.

According to OCHA, there are still hundreds of thousands of individuals in the northern region who are currently facing difficulties in sustaining their livelihood.

The use of unsafe water sources is a major concern for dehydration and illnesses caused by water, while hunger is widespread. The WFP has warned about the potential for malnutrition and starvation.

Over the weekend, tens of thousands of individuals who were forced to leave their homes continued to escape from the northern region through an “opening” created by the Israeli army. However, in the southern area, they faced danger due to constant bombing and overcrowded shelters.

Mr. Lazzarini from UNRWA reiterated that there is no safe place in Gaza.