WHO: A ‘Death Sentence for Sick and Injured’ in Gaza

“Forcing more than 2000 patients to relocate to southern Gaza, where health facilities are already running at maximum capacity and unable to absorb a dramatic rise in the number of patients, could be tantamount to a death sentence.” 
On Saturday, the World Health Organization put out the following statement rejecting Israel’s demand that 2,000 patients at hospitals in the north of Gaza be evacuated to the south:

“As the United Nation’s agency responsible for public health, the World Health Organization (WHO) strongly condemns Israel’s repeated orders for the evacuation of 22 hospitals treating more than 2000 inpatients in northern Gaza. The forced evacuation of patients and health workers will further worsen the current humanitarian and public health catastrophe.

The lives of many critically ill and fragile patients hang in the balance: those in intensive care or who rely on life support; patients undergoing hemodialysis; newborns in incubators; women with complications of pregnancy, and others all face imminent deterioration of their condition or death if they are forced to move and are cut off from life-saving medical attention while being evacuated. 

Health facilities in northern Gaza continue to receive an influx of injured patients and are struggling to operate beyond maximum capacity. Some patients are being treated in corridors and outdoors in surrounding streets due to a lack of hospital beds. 

Forcing more than 2000 patients to relocate to southern Gaza, where health facilities are already running at maximum capacity and unable to absorb a dramatic rise in the number of patients, could be tantamount to a death sentence. 

Hospital directors and health workers are now facing an agonizing choice: abandon critically ill patients amid a bombing campaign, put their own lives at risk while remaining on site to treat patients, or endanger their patients’ lives while attempting to transport them to facilities that have no capacity to receive them. Overwhelmingly, caregivers have chosen to stay behind, and honor their oaths as health professionals to “do no harm,” rather than risk moving their critically ill patients during evacuations. Health workers should never have to make such impossible choices.

Additionally, tens of thousands of displaced people in northern Gaza are seeking refuge in open spaces in or around hospitals, treating them as havens from violence as well as to protect the facilities from potential attacks. Their lives, too, are at risk when health facilities are bombed.

There are verified reports of deaths of health care workers and destruction of health facilities, which denies civilians the basic human right of life-saving health care and is prohibited under International Humanitarian Law.

WHO calls for Israel to immediately reverse evacuation orders to hospitals in northern Gaza, and calls for the protection of health facilities, health workers, patients, and civilians. WHO also reiterates its calls for the immediate and safe delivery of medical supplies, fuel, clean water, food, and other humanitarian aid into Gaza through the Rafah crossing, where life-saving assistance – including WHO health supplies that arrived earlier today – is currently awaiting entry.” 

6 comments for “WHO: A ‘Death Sentence for Sick and Injured’ in Gaza

  1. Carmen Sternwood
    October 16, 2023 at 16:27

    ‘Death Sentence for Sick and Injured’

    They say the words. But the reality still does not sink in. It is exactly what they say. But then they treat the people who order a death sentence for the sick and injured as if they are reasonable human beings and not monsters. They never quite connect that final dot. We live in a world with monsters who order death sentences for the sick and wounded. Yet, this organization is willing to meet with them, work with them, and in many ways let the monsters set the course of health care in the world. We let the same monsters do all of that, and we then we let them smile and talk and even ask us for our votes.

  2. Robert
    October 15, 2023 at 19:20

    So according to Israel the new rules of war are its ok to bomb civilians, including hospital patients, as long as you give them advance warning?

    Does that also apply to civilians living in Washington DC, London, and Berlin?

    • Lives Matter
      October 16, 2023 at 16:38

      Washington DC, definitely….. the police only have to claim later that they ‘warned’ the evil doers whom they shoot down on the street.

  3. Lois Gagnon
    October 15, 2023 at 15:11

    Israeli leadership has proven that it can behave just as cruelly to innocents as any fascist dictatorship ever has. There is no valid excuse.

  4. ray Peterson
    October 15, 2023 at 12:55

    Israel had a choice and it made it: war against
    the Palestinas in Gaza.

    • Valerie
      October 15, 2023 at 15:22

      The USA/UK/EUROPE had a choice and they made it: war against the Palestinians in Gaza.

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