– I am deeply concerned about the fighting we are now witnessing in the immediate vicinity of several hospitals in northern Gaza. This exacerbates the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza. Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide told Dagbladet on Saturday that this had gone too far and could not be accepted.
20 out of 36 hospitals in Gaza were forced to close as a result of the war. Those who remain report shortages of clean water, medicines and basic equipment. The fuel blockade in particular makes it impossible for hospitals to continue operating.
Earlier on Saturday, electricity was cut off at Al-Shifa Hospital, among other things, and patients began to die. Among others, 39 foster children are fighting death, according to hospital director Muhammad Abu Salamiya:
There will be several thousand patients and staff in the hospital. Many relatives are also in the hospital area, where thousands of internally displaced people have also taken refuge.
The Israeli army confirms that the hospital is surrounded. They say it’s in a “combat zone.” They believe the area is a legitimate military target because, according to the Israeli military, Hamas has established military facilities there.
The IDF is said to have asked the hospital director to evacuate all patients.
– Needless to say, this has serious consequences for patients. At the same time, it is impossible to transport sick and seriously injured patients across an active war zone, Barth Eddy says.
The Foreign Minister stressed that the warring parties have a duty to comply with the rules of humanitarian law and protect the civilian population affected by this conflict.
Parties are obligated to protect civilians wherever they choose to remain, and have a special responsibility to protect hospitals and other essential civilian functions. He stresses that people’s failure to follow evacuation orders does not make them legitimate targets.
– A large percentage of those dying now in Gaza are children, which is shocking. Parth Eddy goes on to say that many of those who were not directly killed or maimed by the bombings will live with terrible trauma.
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