• Sun. May 26th, 2024

Al-Aqsa Hospital patients’ location ‘unknown’: WHO


Jan 8, 2024


Location of 600 patients, health workers from Gaza’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital “unknown”, says WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, after hospital director says they were forced to leave.

The UN reports that WHO and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) staff visited the Al-Aqsa Hospital on January 7 where the hospital director told them most local health workers and some 600 patients had been forced to leave the facility due to increasing hostilities and Israeli evacuation orders.

Medical Aid for Palestinians and the International Rescue Committee also released a statement saying their staff had been forced to leave the facility, the only functioning hospital in the governorate of Deir el-Balah in central Gaza, due to Israeli military activity.

Top US diplomat Antony Blinken was due in Israel on Monday for difficult talks on the war in Gaza as fears grow that the conflict could engulf the wider region.

Speaking in Qatar on Sunday, Blinken said that Palestinians displaced by the now four-month-old war must be allowed to “return home” while warning that the violence could “easily metastasise” into a regional conflict.

Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, violence has escalated in the occupied West Bank and on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, while Yemen’s Houthi rebels have launched more than 100 drone and missile strikes toward targets in the Red Sea and Israel.

On his fourth tour of the region since the war began, the US secretary of state was scheduled to visit the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia on Monday before arriving in Israel, where he will hold talks with Israeli leaders on Tuesday.

The United States is Israel’s main ally and provides it with billions of dollars in military aid, but it has grown increasingly concerned over the mounting civilian death toll in the conflict.

Washington has said that Blinken will press Israel on its compliance with international humanitarian law and ask for “immediate measures” to boost aid to Gaza.

At least 22,835 people have been killed – including 9,600 children – in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. About 1,139 people were killed in Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel.


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