An online dispute has arisen between the World Health Organization (WHO) and Israel. The United Nations health body claims that the Israeli army ordered it to remove supplies from its warehouse in southern Gaza, while Israel denies this claim.
The chief of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated that the Israeli forces notified them to remove supplies from their medical warehouse in southern Gaza within 24 hours due to ground operations. He appealed to Israel to withdraw the order and protect infrastructure such as hospitals.
However, the Israeli army responded by saying that they never issued such a warning and made it clear to the relevant UN representatives. This has led to a social media dispute between the two parties.
The WHO took the situation seriously and began moving supplies out of the warehouse, which services 11 hospitals in southern Gaza. There are concerns that the removal of supplies could lead hospitals in the south to become even more overwhelmed.
The WHO, along with other UN agencies, has repeatedly called on Israel to restrain its use of force to avoid targeting civilians and medical facilities in its military offensive in Gaza.
Lynn Hastings, UN humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, warned that a humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Gaza, with tens of thousands of people forced into increasingly compressed spaces, desperate to find food, water, shelter, and safety.
Since the end of a seven-day truce, Israeli forces have pushed into southern Gaza, causing great concerns among health officials who fear a further deterioration of an already catastrophic humanitarian crisis.
The WHO has recorded an unprecedented number of attacks on the strip’s healthcare system, including 203 on hospitals, ambulances, medical supplies, and the detention of healthcare workers.
The director general of Gaza’s Ministry of Health described a collapsed healthcare system unable to cope with the needs of the population amid an acute shortage of staff and medical supplies.
The WHO issued a statement warning that intensifying military ground operations in Khan Younis “are likely to cut thousands off from healthcare, especially from the area’s two main hospitals, as the number of wounded and sick increases”.
In the south, thousands of people are now sheltering at the Nasser Medical Complex and another 70,000 at the 370-bed European Gaza Hospital, the UN agency estimates. The situation in Gaza is dire, with nowhere left to go for the people.
World, Politics, Health