Israeli Hospital Attacks ‘Should Be Investigated As War Crimes’: HRW

Israeli Hospital Attacks ‘Should Be Investigated As War Crimes’: HRW

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a damning report, accusing the Israeli military of committing "unlawful attacks on medical facilities, personnel, and transport," further exacerbating the already dire state of Gaza's healthcare system.

The organization urged the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the International Criminal Court to investigate these actions as potential war crimes.

"Despite the Israeli military’s claims on November 5, 2023, of 'Hamas’s cynical use of hospitals,' no evidence put forward would justify depriving hospitals and ambulances of their protected status under international humanitarian law," the report stated.

HRW specifically investigated attacks on or near several medical facilities, including the Indonesian Hospital, al-Ahli Hospital, the International Eye Care Center, the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, and the al-Quds Hospital between October 7 and November 7.

Orthopedic surgeon Fadel Naim, based in Gaza, highlighted the critical shortage of medical supplies, stating that patients with injuries "up to the moderate level" are undergoing surgery without anesthesia to conserve the remaining supply for major and critical surgeries.

"The pain experienced by the patients during the surgical interventions without anesthesia is beyond what humanity on this Earth can endure," Naim expressed.

Warda al-Awawda, a nurse in the neonatal intensive care department at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, reported a rising influx of newborns requiring intensive care amid Israel’s ongoing bombardment of the enclave. She emphasized a severe shortage of medical essentials, from drugs for premature infants to medicines for heart patients, and even hand soap for medical workers to sterilize their hands.

In an alarming development, Dr. Ashraf al-Qudra, the spokesman for Gaza’s health ministry, warned that due to fuel shortages, all of Gaza's hospitals could shut down within 48 hours. Healthcare services, particularly in the northern part of Gaza, are already out of service. The two largest medical facilities, al-Shifa and al-Quds hospitals, ceased operations on Monday, citing a lack of fuel for vital medical equipment.

The dire situation has also prompted UNRWA to describe the circumstances in Gaza as "dire" and call for an immediate ceasefire and the urgent delivery of humanitarian aid to the internally-displaced Palestinians.

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