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UN: Evacuating Gaza hospitals 'impossible' without endangering lives

Thousands remain at hospitals in Gaza as the U.N. says it would be impossible to evacuate them amid attacks from Israel.
UN: Evacuating Gaza hospitals 'impossible' without endangering lives
Posted at 9:05 AM, Oct 30, 2023

Nearly 120,000 displaced people are sheltering in 10 hospitals still operational in and around Gaza City as Israel has continued to urge residents to flee, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

The United Nations' World Health Organization said the “evacuation of hospitals is impossible without endangering patients’ lives." 

The United Nations' criticism of Israel comes as the flow of aid has been restricted into the Gaza Strip. Israel has limited humanitarian supplies and cut fuel out of fears fuel could be used by Hamas terrorists. 

On Sunday, 33 trucks managed to make it into Gaza, but a bottleneck remains.

"While this increase is welcome, a much larger volume of aid is needed on a regular basis to prevent further deterioration in the dire humanitarian situation, including civil unrest," the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said. 

SEE MORE: Israel expands its ground assault into Gaza

The United Nations said that before the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks, close to 500 trucks a day reportedly entered Gaza.

Americares Deputy Medical Officer Dr. Adam Schwartz said his group has been able to procure enough medicines to care for 100,000 people for over three months, but getting those supplies to people remains a challenge. 

"We're hopeful now with hearing reports that the amount of aid crossing the border will increase, and our message is more is better. The more we can get to the people in need, the more we can help them," Schwartz said. 

Schwartz said his partners in Gaza want to continue providing care for Palestinians despite the risks involved in Gaza. Israel has ramped up bombing what it says are Hamas targets in Gaza in recent days. The Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza says there have been 8,000 deaths in Gaza since Oct. 7. Those reported deaths came after 1,400 were killed in attacks by Hamas in Israel.

"When we see damage to hospitals or to health facilities, obviously, that is concerning; those are sanctuaries," Schwartz said. "But it also puts more strain on the remaining hospitals, on the remaining clinics that they're having to provide more care to more people with more needs."

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