Innocent Lives Lost as Hospitals Bombed in Besieged Gaza by Israel: UN ReportsNovember 14, 2023
In the midst of escalating Israeli military attacks on Gaza, Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City has faced severe challenges, going without electricity for three days. This power outage has led to the reported deaths of more patients, including premature babies. The United Nations (UN) has emphasized the urgent need for a ceasefire. The UN humanitarian officials revealed that the hospital’s critical infrastructure, such as the oxygen station, water tanks, cardiovascular facility, and maternity ward, has been damaged.
The UN’s health agency, the World Health Organization (WHO), disclosed that 37 premature babies were relocated to an operating room without incubators over the weekend, and six of them have reportedly died. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus condemned the transformation of hospitals into scenes of death and devastation, reiterating the call for an immediate halt to the fighting. Al-Shifa hospital has become the focal point of armed clashes, with the Israeli military claiming that Hamas has built a command center under the hospital—a claim denied by medical professionals on-site.
In addition to the infant casualties, 10 other patients and three nurses have lost their lives at Al-Shifa, and critical infrastructure has sustained damage. Thousands of people, including internally displaced persons, have managed to flee the hospital, but others remain trapped inside due to fear or physical inability to leave. The UN has reiterated that humanitarian personnel and facilities, including hospitals, should not be targeted, emphasizing their protection under international humanitarian law.
Several attacks on health facilities have been reported, with a Swedish clinic in Ash Shati camp destroyed, Al Mahdi Hospital hit, and services at hospitals in northern Gaza collapsing. The situation in northern Gaza remains dire, with thousands struggling to survive amidst water and food shortages. Displaced persons attempting to flee face risks in the south due to ongoing bombings and overcrowded shelters.
The UN marked a solemn day of remembrance for the 101 staff killed in the conflict—the largest loss in its 78-year history. The UN flag flew at half-mast globally, honoring the sacrifices made by the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) staff. UNRWA facilities, including a guesthouse in Rafah, sustained damage from Israeli naval strikes. Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner-General, criticized the disregard for civilian infrastructure protection, emphasizing the daily horror faced by civilians in Gaza.
The international community called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, along with the delivery of aid, medicine, and water. The State of Palestine’s Ambassador stressed the need for a political resolution to end the occupation, allowing Palestinians to live in freedom and dignity in their independent state, with Jerusalem as its capital.