Israel increases attacks on health infrastructure in Gaza

Israeli airstrikes on hospitals in Gaza have caused severe damages and many have been forced to shut down, putting thousands of patients and refugees at risk

November 09, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
The Indonesian Hospital in Gaza was targeted by Israeli Forces on November 9. Photo: Al Quds News

Israeli Forces have continued launching airstrikes at hospitals and other health institutions in Gaza. According to the latest information shared by the Palestinian Ministry of Health, 195 health workers were killed, and 130 health institutions were targeted since Israel’s bombing began in early October. Since then, more than half of Gaza’s hospitals have been put out of service because of the damage and the effects of the full blockade on the Strip.

The latest airstrikes occurred in the proximity of the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza. Dozens were killed and injured. The hospital, one of the largest health institutions of this kind in the area, is currently hosting at least 2,000 internally displaced people, in addition to hundreds of patients, according to humanitarian volunteers inside the hospital. During last week’s attacks, parts of the hospital ceiling began to collapse, as reported by volunteers to People’s Health Dispatch. The hospital’s work has been repeatedly hampered over the past 34 days as fuel runs short and available supplies are not enough to cope with patients’ needs.

The risk of running out of fuel increases by the hour, and the shutting down of the Indonesian Hospital would not only mean an end to limited health care provision but also an end to the shelter that people are finding there. According to the volunteers, health workers decided at the very beginning to stay for as long as people seek shelter in the hospital, and while they still maintain morale, the material situation deteriorates by the hour.

Read more: The Indonesian Hospital in Gaza bears proof of the friendship between Indonesian and Palestinian people

In addition to the Indonesian Hospital, Israeli attacks on Thursday continued to hamper care provision in other health centers, including the Strip’s largest institution, Al-Shifa Hospital. One of the most alarming updates from the Ministry of Health revealed the attacks’ impact on health services for children, as Al-Nasr Children’s Hospital, Al-Durrah Children’s Hospital, and Al-Rantisi Specialized Hospital for Children were all forced to shut down most of their wards.

Only limited resources remain available for children in intensive care and nursery services at the moment, and those are likely to run out soon if the unimpeded delivery of fuel and supplies is not ensured. With more than 4,000 children already killed by Israeli attacks, the cessation of pediatric care in the Gaza Strip is certain to have devastating effects in the days to come.

People’s Health Dispatch is a fortnightly bulletin published by the People’s Health Movement and Peoples Dispatch. For more articles and to subscribe to People’s Health Dispatch, click here.