Gaza: Al-Shifa hospital destroyed

MSF is horrified that Al-Shifa hospital is in ruins after a 14-day long operation by Israeli forces in and around the facility. Gaza’s largest hospital is now out of service. Given the extent of the destruction, people in the north are left with even fewer healthcare options.

Access to Al-Shifa hospital was impossible for days, leaving patients without care. On 31 March, according to WHO, 21 patients have died since the hospital came under siege on 18 March and 107 others remain trapped inside, 4 of which are children along with 28 critical patients.

Though we cannot confirm the exact number of casualties, hundreds of people have been killed, including medical staff, and bodies are lying in the street, according to public reports. There have also been mass arrests of medical staff and other people in and around the hospital.

The violence of the assault and heavy fighting also impacted MSF’s clinic located near the hospital. “I saw the huge damage. I was in shock. They damaged the office, clinic, all the cars and generators,” said an MSF staff member. 

One of MSF's clinics, located near Al-Shifa hospital, was also damaged in the attack. © MSF

MSF staff members visited Al-Shifa hospital in January and March. Though the hospital was only partially functioning and desperately lacking supplies, medical staff were still treating over 200 patients in March.

Completely damaged compound of the Al-Shifa hospital ©MSF

MSF calls for the safe evacuation of the remaining patients so they can receive the care they need. An immediate and sustained ceasefire must be implemented now to put an end to the destruction of healthcare facilities, endangering the lives of patients and medical staff.

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