The situation in the Gaza Strip is dramatic. Several hospitals throughout the region suspended their operations, some were destroyed as a result of Israeli airstrikes, and others ran out of fuel and medical supplies. The conflict also affects the youngest. “In a split second, their homes and entire communities disappear before our eyes,” says a UNICEF spokesman.
They operate in corridors, often in the dark and without anesthesia. Every day, doctors in the Gaza Strip must make choices that no human would want to face. As they claim, they increasingly provide first aid to those who have a greater chance of survival.
– Children with burns and missing limbs are being sent to hospitals in the Gaza Strip. These are terrible injuries. Doctors cannot relieve their pain. Anesthetic drugs are running out, too many children need surgery. It is impossible to accept everyone, reports Dr. Tanya Haj-Hassan from Doctors Without Borders.
Several hospitals throughout the region suspended their operations. Some were destroyed by Israeli airstrikes, others ran out of fuel and medical supplies. Gaza’s only cancer hospital was closed on Wednesday. – People are dying not only because of bombings. We have 130 premature babies who need incubators. About 61 percent of them are in the northern Gaza Strip. To keep them alive, we need electricity. We have 50,000 pregnant women, 350,000 people have heart problems, diabetes, cancer and other diseases. Thousands of patients need kidney dialysis, says Christian Lindmeier from the World Health Organization.
Today, medical facilities in the Gaza Strip are not only places where the wounded and sick go. I don’t know whether I work in a hospital or in a refugee camp, admits one of the medical students. Due to the lack of free beds in hospitals, the Palestinians transformed classrooms in one of the schools in Khan Yunus into makeshift wards.
– My son was injured in the head. He can only move his arms. He is partially paralyzed, says Salwa Najar, a displaced resident of the Gaza Strip.
Medics are under increasing pressure. Many of them have not left their workplace for over three weeks. According to Doctors Without Borders, more than 20,000 injured people are trapped in the Gaza Strip. – These are not just numbers. Many children are trapped under the rubble. We estimate that there may be over a thousand of them. So we are talking about about five thousand children killed. People hear these numbers and become desensitized, and we are talking about children who had personality, character, favorite food, dreams, and for someone they were the whole world – emphasizes Dr. Tanya Haj-Hassan.
“Children witness the deaths of their parents, sisters and brothers.”
According to Save the Children, more children have lost their lives in the Gaza Strip since October 7 than have died each year in all conflict zones around the world over the past four years. Gaza has become a graveyard for children, says a UNICEF spokesman for the Middle East and Africa region.
– Children witness the deaths of their parents, sisters and brothers. In a split second, their homes and entire communities disappear before our eyes. This has a huge impact on their mental health. These scars can stay with them for life, so it is very important to protect them, says Salim Oweis.
Humanitarian organizations provide help to the Palestinians. Among others, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, established in 1949, operates on site. Since October 7, 70 of its employees have been killed and over 20 injured. On Wednesday, the head of the agency visited the Gaza Strip and admitted that it was the saddest day of his career.
– I have never seen anything like this in the Gaza Strip. Residents report a lack of food, water and fuel. And as we well know, fuel is an absolute necessity. Without it, generators will not work, bakeries and hospitals will not work, said Philippe Lazzarini.
Only one bakery run by the World Food Program and eight local bakeries in Gaza are still operating and providing bread to Palestinians. As a result, long queues form in front of them, in which – according to the UN – people are exposed to air attacks.
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Main photo source: Reuters