WHO voices concerns over attacks on health facilities and workers in Gaza

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Palestinian families take shelter at an UNRWA school in Gaza City (13 July 2014). Photo: Shareef Sarhan/UNRWA

At least 18 health care facilities have been damaged and 20 health workers injured, as the Israeli military offensive against Hamas militants continues in Gaza.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is gravely concerned about the increasing attacks on health facilities and is appealing to all parties to the conflict to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law which strictly prohibits attacks on health care premises, vehicles, personnel and patients.

WHO says health care providers and health emergency services must be protected at all times and permitted to carry out their work.

Fadella Chaib from WHO says the large number of causalities was overwhelming the few health care facilities that were able to operate normally.

"There are critical concerns with hospital supplies, as both medicines and medical disposables are in serious shortages, both in Ministry of health and NGO hospitals due to the large number of casualties and serious shortages even before the escalation of violence. In Gaza WHO is monitoring needs in hospitals, and drug and supplies stocks on a daily basis and is coordinating with health partners and donors for urgent resupply."

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, over 3,500 Palestinians, including 1,100 children and 608 women, had been injured.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration 1.36″

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