Cyprus Mail
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New wave of wounded received at Gaza’s overwhelmed hospitals

a palestinian boy wounded in an israeli strike is assisted after a temporary truce between hamas and israel expired
An injured Palestinian boy at Abu Yousef al-Najjar hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip December 1, 2023. REUTERS/Hatem Khaled

At Nasser Hospital in southern Gaza, a man cradling a boy with a bloodied scalp cried for help.

A girl who had arrived in an ambulance with an unconscious man missing the top of his left foot sobbed as a medic examined her eye.

A dazed boy, his face covered in blood, waited for treatment.

Barely two hours after the lapse of a week-old truce between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, Gaza’s Hamas-controlled health ministry reported that 32 people had already been killed in Israeli air strikes.

Reuters footage from Nasser Hospital, the second largest in the Gaza strip, showed a steady stream of wounded children and adults being brought in as other people wept outside beside bodies of loved ones killed in strikes.

Aid groups and the United Nations say a small fraction of health facilities in the devasted enclave are still functioning and those are in no shape to handle a new wave of casualties.

“Hospitals across Gaza lack the basic supplies, staff and fuel to deliver primary health care at the scale needed, let alone safely treat urgent cases,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said on Thursday.

Gaza had 2.3 million residents before Israel began a bombardment and ground invasion in response to the Oct. 7 rampage by Hamas, when Israel says gunmen killed 1,200 people and took 240 hostages.

Palestinian health authorities that the U.N. deems credible say more than 15,000 Gazans have been confirmed killed and thousands more are missing and feared buried under rubble. The U.N. says as many as 80% of the population may have been driven from their homes.

“Gaza’s health system has been crippled by the ongoing hostilities,” Dr Richard Peeperkorn, the World Health Organisation’s representative in Gaza, said.

“It cannot afford to lose any more hospitals or hospital beds,” he told reporters by video link. “We are extremely concerned about the resumption of violence.”

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