Riham Jafari, Communications and Advocacy Coordinator at ActionAid Palestine, said “It’s clear that hospitals cannot be evacuated without endangering lives. How can people – babies on incubators, the elderly, and those on mechanical ventilation – be expected to evacuate a hospital that has been under constant bombardment?
“How can doctors, working around the clock to keep patients alive be expected to follow these orders? With patients’ lives on the line, doctors do not want to leave thousands of patients without lifesaving care. Leaving Al-Quds would mean life support machines would lose power and many lives would be lost.”
“Roads around the hospital have also been bombed relentlessly and ambulances are still without fuel. Even with advanced warnings, those who can move have nowhere to go or face evacuation to southern Gaza which is also facing a humanitarian catastrophe.”
Amidst renewed calls over the weekend by the Israeli military to evacuate hospitals, Al-Quds Hospital is not the only health facility that has faced intense bombardment. Over the weekend, Al-Shifa and the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza were repeatedly bombarded, causing damage to hospitals. The Turkish Friendship Hospital, the only oncology hospital in Gaza, has also run out of fuel putting around 2,000 cancer patients at risk. In total, UNOCHA estimates that in total thousands of patients and staff and around 117,000 internally displaced people are sheltering in health facilities across Gaza.
Yesterday 33 aid trucks delivering water, food, and medical supplies, entered Gaza through the Rafah border with Egypt. Of this convoy, just 12 trucks carried medical supplies for a population of over 2 million. While this is the largest delivery of humanitarian aid since the blockade on Gaza began, it falls far short of the 100 trucks per day needed to provide lifesaving aid to millions of Gazans. So far just 117 trucks have entered Gaza since aid convoys started making their way into Gaza on the 21 October – none of this has included fuel.
Riham Jafari said: “We welcome any scaling up of aid into Gaza, but it’s quite clear that – amidst the escalation in attacks and the increased targeting of hospitals in recent days – the aid that is trickling in is not keeping up with the pace that is needed. Under constant bombardment, aid supplies cannot get to hospitals as roads have been destroyed. Once again, we’re calling for a ceasefire so that hospitals and life support machines can keep running.”