After the bombing of the Nasser hospital in Khan Younès, concern for the patients stuck inside

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Concern grew on Saturday, February 17, for the patients stuck in the Nasser hospital in Khan Younès, in Gaza, stormed by the Israeli army, whose incessant bombings on the Palestinian territory left dozens dead in the night, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-administered Gaza Strip.

Six patients, including a child, have died since Friday due to power cuts which caused the cessation of the distribution of oxygen after the assault by Israeli troops on the Nasser hospital, according to a new report on Saturday , from the ministry.

“Newborns risk dying in the coming hours,” added the ministry, which reported around a hundred people killed overnight by Israeli bombings in the Gaza Strip. He said five doctors caring for 120 patients were still in a Nasser hospital building without electricity, water, food and oxygen.

Medical staff detained

Israeli forces “still detain many medical staff, patients and internally displaced persons in the maternity building, and subject them to interrogation in inhumane conditions,” he added.

On Friday evening, the Israeli army announced on its Telegram account that it had discovered mortar shells, grenades and other weapons belonging to Hamas, and captured “dozens” of suspects in the hospital, including “more than twenty terrorists having participated in the massacre of October 7 [2023].”

The Israeli army said on Friday that its troops had found medicines with the names of hostages written on them in the Nasser hospital. She also said she repaired the hospital generator, which she denies having targeted, and installed a second emergency one.

But doctors described an untenable situation in this hospital, located in a city transformed into a field of ruins and surrounded by fighting, and where thousands of displaced people had taken refuge.

The European Union “very concerned”

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) announced that its employees had “had to flee, leaving the sick behind.” “The situation was chaotic, catastrophic,” Christopher Lockyear, MSF secretary general, told Agence France-Presse.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Nasser hospital, one of eleven that remain open out of thirty-six in the Gaza Strip before the war, is now “barely functional”. “More damage to hospitals means more lives lost,” WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said at a press briefing Friday in Geneva, demanding urgent access to WHO at the hospital complex.

Meanwhile, the international community is increasing its calls to dissuade Israel from launching an offensive in the overcrowded city of Rafah, where nearly a million and a half civilians are trapped against the closed border with Egypt. The European Union said Friday it was “very concerned” about the prospect, and urged Israel “not to take military action in Rafah that would worsen an already catastrophic humanitarian situation.”