Mon 27-May-2024

Israel continues its war on Gaza hospitals amid calls for international investigation

Monday 18-December-2023

The spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, Dr. Ashraf al-Qudra, has said that Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Al-Awda Hospital on Sunday evening, after several days of siege and bombardment. The soldiers detained and subjected its medical staff, including the hospital director, Dr. Ahmed Mahna, to interrogation and humiliation.

Al-Qudra pointed out that “the IOF released the medical staff after four hours of interrogation under inhumane conditions.” He added, “The IOF, however, kept the director of al-Awda Hospital, Dr. Ahmed Mahna, under arrest and took him to an unknown location.”

He said, “We fear that the IOF may repeat the scenario that occurred at Kamal Adwan Hospital.” He called on international institutions to urgently intervene to protect the hospital, its staff, and those inside it.

Al-Awda Health and Community Association said that the IOF arrested 21 employees of the medical teams working at al-Awda Hospital and released them after three hours, while Dr. Ahmed Mahna, the hospital director, remained under arrest.

In a statement issued on Monday, the association condemned the arrest of its employees, their intimidation, and the continued detention of Dr. Ahmed Mahna, considering him a humanitarian worker in the health field. It called on the Red Cross, the World Health Organization, and relevant international institutions to pressure the IOF for his immediate release.

It also demanded the necessary protection for its staff present in Al-Awda Hospital, as well as the patients and beneficiaries admitted to the hospital who are besieged without food, drink, or electricity.

In the same context, a female martyr and several injuries were reported in an Israeli airstrike that targeted the maternity ward at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis on Sunday evening.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Ministry of Health in Gaza, Munir Al-Bursh, said, “We found the bodies of martyrs and injured people that the IOF bulldozer had swept away among the mounds of soil in Kamal Adwan Hospital’s courtyard.”

Al-Bursh called for an international investigation into the deliberate compounded crime committed by the IOF in the hospital. He added, “We were subjected to gunfire from the IOF snipers during our press conference at Kamal Adwan Hospital.”

He pointed out that “Jabalia Medical Center received more than 60 martyrs and about 90 injured today.”

For his part, the Director of the World Health Organization affirmed that the organization is deeply alarmed by the destruction of Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza in recent days.

He added, “We are deeply concerned about the safety of the displaced people taking shelter in Kamal Adwan Hospital building.” He reiterated the warning that “the health system in Gaza is in a state of real collapse, and the loss of another hospital represents a severe blow.”

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