Al Shifa hospital is lit up in Gaza City, 24 October 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/MOHAMMED SABER

Gaza’s lone cancer hospital stops operating, maternity hospital shelled, says UN

Geneva, Nov 1 (EFE).- The Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital in Gaza, the only hospital in the enclave for cancer patients, has ceased to operate due to a lack of fuel, the United Nations said late Wednesday.

The Al Hilo hospital, used as a maternity facility in the center of Gaza city, had also been struck by shelling, the UN added.

The hospital was struck by shelling at around 8 pm on Wednesday, according to the daily report of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

It is estimated that there are currently around 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza, and around 160 children are born every day.

The maternity ward of the Gaza’s main hospital, Shifa, which is now being used to treat injured people, was shifted to Al Hilo.

The UN report warned that 14 of the 35 hospitals in Gaza with the capacity to admit patients were not working, as were 71 percent of primary care centers (51 out of 72).

Sources from the Gaza Ministry of Health warned that the Shifa hospital in the capital and the Indonesian Beit Lahiya hospital in the devastated north of the strip have almost exhausted their fuel and could therefore soon stop their operations.

The Israeli military, which has attacked positions near hospitals such as Shifa or the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, has defended their action, saying that part of these facilities or underground areas under them are used for military purposes by Hamas.

After 26 days of hostilities that began with the terrorist attacks on Oct. 7 in Israeli territory near Gaza, the death toll in the strip reached 8,805, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.

The victims include 3,648 children and 2,187 women.

The number of internally displaced people in Gaza remains at 1.4 million, of which at least 300,000 are in northern Gaza, the main target of Israeli attacks, according to the UN.

In recent days, some 100,000 people have taken refuge with their families in accommodation run by the UN relief agency UNRWA, many of them living in overcrowded conditions.

The UN report indicated that 81 wounded Palestinians were transferred to an Egyptian field hospital on Wednesday along with 345 foreign citizens.

This is the first time since Oct. 10 that Rafah has opened for the movement of people, the report said.

By 2 pm on Wednesday, 10 trucks carrying water, food, and medicines had entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing, bringing the total number of trucks that have entered since Oct. 21 to 227.

Israel, however, cut off Gaza’s telecommunication and internet services between 3 pm and 11:15 pm on Wednesday for the second time in six days.

In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed five more Palestinians on Wednesday, bringing the number of deaths in that territory since Oct. 7 to 129, including 128 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier.

Israelis also continued their drive to arrest Palestinians, with another 70 arrests between Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, taking the total number of arrestees to 1,830, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The UN rights office said that there were suspected cases of arbitrary detention and mistreatment, adding that two Palestinian detainees have died in Israeli custody since Oct. 7. EFE