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Health Crisis Looms in Gaza Amid Intensifying Hostilities: Urgent Call for Aid

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Ethan Sulliva
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Health Crisis Looms in Gaza Amid Intensifying Hostilities: Urgent Call for Aid

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The escalating conflict in the Gaza Strip, particularly in the vicinity of Al-Shifa hospital, has resulted in a dire health crisis. The tension and hostilities have led to a significant increase in the number of injured individuals, overwhelming medical institutions such as the Al-Ahli hospital in northern Gaza. As a result, health workers are compelled to treat patients in makeshift spaces, stretching resources thin and pushing the hospital to its limits.

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Medical Facilities Overwhelmed by Crisis

Al-Ahli hospital, originally an 80-bed facility, currently accommodates more than 150 patients. Staff work tirelessly, providing care without rest, despite the pressing need for fuel, food, and critical medical supplies. The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged for sustained access to resupply hospitals across the Gaza Strip to keep them functional.

The Nasser Hospital, the last major functioning medical facility in the region, faces a similar predicament. With only five physicians remaining, they struggle to cope with the gravely injured amidst the surrounding Israeli soldiers and tanks. The hospital is facing a severe shortage of food, painkillers, and medical equipment, forcing patients to be operated on without anesthetic.

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Humanitarian Crisis Escalates

Thousands of people are trapped inside the Nasser hospital, with many suffering from injuries and lack of hygiene. This has resulted in a rise in cases of diarrhea among children, further straining the already limited resources. The hospital's scenario mirrors the situation at Al Shifa Hospital, which Israeli troops stormed in November.

The humanitarian crisis extends beyond the hospital walls. The overall situation in Gaza is described as miserable, with the smell of death permeating the air. The death toll has surpassed 26,000, most of whom are women and children.

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Hospitals Cease Operations Amid Fuel Shortage

Al Shifa hospital, once a healthcare beacon for Gaza, had to suspend operations after running out of fuel. This resulted in a tragic incident of a newborn baby dying inside an incubator. The hospital is among 20 out of 36 hospitals in Gaza that are no longer functioning, according to the UN's humanitarian agency.

People have sought shelter within the hospital grounds due to Israeli strikes on or near hospitals. The Israeli government denies targeting hospitals, accusing Hamas of using medical facilities as command centers and hideouts.

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Appeals for International Intervention

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has expressed concern over the civilian toll, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists that Israel is attempting to avoid harming civilians. Israel alleges that Hamas is preventing civilians from moving to safe areas, using them as human shields.

Humanitarian organizations and UNICEF have highlighted the trauma and fear experienced by children in the Gaza Strip, who have lost their homes, family members, and access to medical care. As the conflict continues, the need for international intervention becomes increasingly urgent to avert a further health crisis.

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