Gaza hospitals 'out of service' as fuel shortages claim more lives

Every hospital in the north of the embattled territory are "out of service", Gaza's deputy health minister states. (Photo/Reuters)

The hospitals in northern Gaza have been forced out of service amid fuel shortages and intense combat, with the death toll inside the territory's largest facility rising, the Gaza Health Ministry said.

Gaza's deputy Health Minister Youssef Abu Rish said on Monday that the death toll inside Al Shifa has risen to 27 adult intensive care patients and seven babies since the weekend as the facility suffered fuel shortages.

The World Health Organisation in the Palestinian Territories said earlier on Monday that at least 2,300 people - patients, health workers, and people fleeing fighting - were inside the Al Shifa Hospital.

Gaza has been reliant on generators for over a month after Israel cut off power supplies following the October 7 attack and the besieged territory's only power plant ran out of fuel.

Abu Rish said all hospitals in the north of the embattled territory were "out of service".

"There are dozens of dead and hundreds of wounded that no one can get to. Ambulances are at a standstill because they get shot at when they go out," hospital director Muhammad Abu Selmiya said.

Fuel urgently needed

Witnesses reported intense overnight air strikes, with tanks and armoured vehicles just meters from the gate of the sprawling Al Shifa compound at the heart of Gaza City, now an urban war zone.

Fuel has been a key need, especially for hospital generators, but Israel has been declining to allow any fuel delivery to the enclave, claiming it could be diverted to Hamas.

The Israeli army also said its ground soldiers had hand-delivered 300 litres (80 gallons) of fuel near the hospital "for urgent medical purposes".

Al Shifa director Mohammad Abu Salmiya said he told Israeli authorities he needed at least 8,000 litres to run the main generators and "save hundreds of patients and wounded, but they refused."

AFP was unable to independently verify his account or Israel's claim that Hamas forbade the hospital from taking the fuel.


Source: TRT