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Israel & Hamas War - Not a political thread - Reports of hundreds dead on day one - October 7, 2023

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  • #31
    Israel -

    Translation Google

    gov.il news National Security Headquarters

    Joint announcement by the National Security Headquarters and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Date published
    30.10.2023
    update date
    03.11.2023

    The National Security Headquarters (NSH) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a notice to the public - a call to take increased precautions when traveling abroad in light of the increasing number of manifestations of anti-Semitism and incidents of violence against Israelis and Jews around the world


    1. In recent weeks, against the background of the "Iron Swords" war, the MLA and the Foreign Ministry have witnessed a significant increase in manifestations of anti-Semitism and incitement alongside life-threatening violent attacks against Israelis and Jews around the world.

    2. These events are taking place in many countries around the world, including countries for which there is no travel warning in terrorist contexts.

    3. It will be emphasized that Jewish communities and religious and community institutions (synagogues, Chabad houses, kosher restaurants and Israeli businesses), along with Israeli missions and airports from which flights from Israel take off and land, are a major target of anti-Semitic elements for protest events and attempted attacks.

    4. In light of the dimensions of the phenomenon, the National Security Headquarters calls for consideration of the necessity of traveling abroad these days; at the same time, the National Security Council calls on the general public in Israel going abroad, to any destination, to heed its recommendations regarding the required conduct of Israeli citizens abroad (The details of the recommendations appear on the website of the National Security Headquarters) and in the meantime:

    A. Postpone travel to countries with travel warnings, with an emphasis on Arab and Middle Eastern countries, the North Caucasus and countries surrounding Iran.

    B. Check the state of protests and manifestations of violence against Israel in the chosen destination, even in countries without a travel warning.

    third. Avoid externalizing Israeli and Jewish symbols.

    d. Find out the phone numbers of the emergency services at the destination you are visiting (security forces/medical), and the Israeli embassy if there is one.

    God. Stay away from demonstrations and protests.

    and. To remain alert while staying at the destination, paying attention to what is happening around.

    G. It is suggested not to have a conversation about service in Israel's security systems, including the army, with unknown parties.

    This page was last updated on 03.11.2023

    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

    Comment


    • #32
      Not a political statement. Anything that the director of WHO says is news.



      World Health Organization (WHO) reposted

      Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

      @DrTedros
      It has been a month of intense bombardment in #Gaza. 10,000 people have died. Over 4,000 of them were children. How long will this human catastrophe last? We urge all parties to agree to a humanitarian ceasefire and work toward lasting peace. We again call for the immediate release of the hostages. History will judge us all by what we do to end this tragedy.
      10:16 AM · Nov 7, 2023
      ·
      46.3K
      Views​

      Comment


      • #33
        UNRWA-WHO medical supply convoy reaches Al-Shifa hospital

        Statement by UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini and WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

        8 November 2023
        Statement

        AMMAN/GENEVA

        Reading time: 2 min (424 words)
        العربية

        UNRWA has facilitated the delivery of WHO’s much needed emergency medical supplies and medicines to Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, north of the Gaza Strip, despite huge risks to our staff and health partners due to the relentless bombardments in Gaza.

        This is only the second delivery of lifesaving supplies to the hospital since the escalation of hostilities and the total siege of Gaza began. On 24 October, WHO delivered medical supplies to the hospital amid high insecurity.

        While welcome, the quantities we delivered are far from sufficient to respond to the immense needs in the Gaza Strip. The medical conditions at Al-Shifa - the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip and one of the oldest Palestinian health institutions - are disastrous.

        There are currently almost two patients for every bed available. The emergency department and wards are overflowing requiring doctors and medical workers to treat wounded and sick patients in the corridors, on the floor, and outdoors. The number of wounded increases by the hour while patients are undergoing immense and unnecessary pain as medicines and anesthetics are running out. In addition, tens of thousands of displaced people have sought shelter in the hospital’s parking lots and yards.

        Al-Shifa Hospital has traditionally been the most important health facility in Gaza. Its doctors, nurses and other workers have responded heroically to the current desperate situation. But they need more support. The northern areas of Gaza cannot and should not be isolated nor deprived of the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Patients there cannot be denied the health care to which they are entitled and urgently need. Aid should reach the whole of Gaza.

        Medical facilities are running out of supplies and fuel. So far, no fuel has been allowed into the Gaza Strip, including to Al-Shifa hospital for over one month now.

        UNRWA and WHO renew their urgent call for the delivery of fuel to humanitarian agencies in the Gaza Strip. Without fuel, hospitals and other essential facilities such as desalination plants and bakeries cannot operate, and more people will most certainly die as a result.

        The ability of hospitals and medical facilities to operate is paramount especially during conflicts. In line with international humanitarian law, we call for the protection of all medical facilities, personnel, patients and the wounded, for the sustained flow of humanitarian supplies and fuel at scale, and for safe and unimpeded access to deliver the supplies to health facilities wherever they are across the Gaza Strip. We also call for the medical evacuation of critically injured and sick patients.​

        UNRWA has facilitated the delivery of WHO’s much needed emergency medical supplies and medicines to Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, north of the Gaza Strip, despite huge risks to our staff and health partners due to the relentless bombardments in Gaza. This is only the second delivery of lifesaving supplies to the hospital since the escalation of hostilities and the total siege of Gaza began. 
        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
        -Nelson Mandela

        Comment


        • #34
          Not a political statement. Anything that the director of WHO says is news.


          Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus - 1h
          @DrTedros

          Deeply worrisome and frightening:

          @WHO has lost contact with its focal points in Al-Shifa Hospital in #Gaza, amid horrifying reports of the hospital facing repeated attacks.

          There are reports that some of those who fled the hospital have been shot at, wounded, or killed.

          The latest reports say the hospital was surrounded by tanks.

          WHO is gravely concerned about the safety of health workers, hundreds of sick and injured patients, including babies on life support, and displaced people who remain inside the hospital.

          WHO again calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza as the only way to save lives and reduce the horrific levels of suffering.

          WHO also calls for the sustained, orderly, unimpeded and safe medical evacuations of critically injured and sick patients.

          All hostages must receive appropriate medical care and be released unconditionally.​

          Comment


          • #35
            WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing – 15 November 2023

            15 November 2023

            Good morning, good afternoon and good evening,

            Yesterday, I met for the second time with families of Israeli hostages being held in Gaza.

            I heard and felt their pain and heartache.

            WHO continues to call for the hostages to be released unharmed, without any condition.

            We are deeply concerned for their health and well-being, just as we are concerned for the health and well-being of the people of Gaza, which is becoming more precarious every hour.

            For the past three days, WHO has not received updates on the number of deaths or injuries in Gaza, which makes it harder for us to evaluate the functioning of the health system.

            What we know is that only one quarter of Gaza’s hospitals are still functioning – 26 out of 36 hospitals are now closed, either due to damage, attacks or because they have run out of fuel.

            Patients, health workers and ambulances are not able to enter or exit some hospitals.

            Prior to the conflict there were around 3,500 hospital beds across Gaza; today there are an estimated 1,400. And there are many more patients than beds.

            Doctors and nurses are having to make impossible decisions on who lives, and who dies.

            Torrential rain overnight has flooded makeshift camps, making conditions even worse for displaced people.

            Israel’s military incursion into Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City is totally unacceptable.

            Hospitals are not battlegrounds.

            We are extremely worried for the safety of staff and patients. Protecting them is paramount.

            WHO has lost contact with health workers at Al-Shifa hospital.

            But one thing is clear: under international humanitarian law, health facilities, health workers, ambulances and patients must be safeguarded and protected against all acts of war.

            Not only that, they must be actively protected during military planning.

            Even if health facilities are used for military purposes, the principles of distinction, precaution and proportionality always apply.

            The safety of patients and staff, as well as the integrity of the health care systems in the wider community, are of paramount concern.

            International humanitarian law must be respected.

            WHO has staff who live in Gaza, but many of them have been displaced and are just trying to protect themselves and their families.

            One of our staff said this week, “There is no water, no food no electricity. Only bombing, bombing, bombing.”

            Yesterday, international staff arrived to coordinate our operation. I spoke to our colleagues in Gaza this morning.

            They said the most pressing needs are for a ceasefire, the sustained opening of the Rafah crossing, safe movement for humanitarian aid and workers, and for supplies of electricity and fuel to be restored.

            Electricity is needed to power desalination and sewage treatment plants, hospitals and telecommunications, and fuel is needed to distribute aid.

            We might be able to get aid into Gaza through the Rafah crossing, but without fuel, we cannot get it to where it needs to go.

            On Monday, the forklift we use to load aid on to trucks inside Gaza ran out of fuel.

            Gaza’s telecommunications providers have said that without fuel or electricity, their networks will turn off in the coming hours.

            Earlier today, a truck with 23,000 litres of fuel entered Gaza, but Israel has restricted its use to only transporting aid from Rafah.

            At least 120,000 litres a day are needed to operate hospital generators, ambulances, desalination plants, sewage treatment plants and telecommunications.

            This problem can be easily fixed – the supply of electricity must be restored, and sufficient fuel must be allowed to enter to run vital infrastructure and distribute life-saving aid.​

            ===

            WHO continues to call for the hostages to be released unharmed, without any condition. We are extremely worried for the safety of staff and patients. Protecting them is paramount. International humanitarian law must be respected.

            "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
            -Nelson Mandela

            Comment


            • #36
              Translation Google

              17 November 2023

              The conflict between Israel and Hamas: the voices of scientists on the front lines

              Hamas' deadly October 7 attacks on Israel and Israel's bombing of Gaza have upended lives, including those of researchers across the region.

              Nature news team and freelance reporters
              ...
              Residents of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank are reeling from the fallout from the October 7 attacks on Israel by the militant organization Hamas. Hamas members killed around 1,200 people, including at least 28 children, according to data compiled by the Haaretz newspaper. Some 240 people were taken prisoner, including at least 33 children.

              As of November 15, the death toll from Israeli bombing of Gaza and the subsequent ground operation stood at more than 11,000, including more than 4,500 children, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. United Nations ( OCHA ) and the United Nations children's agency ( UNICEF ). More than 1.6 million people have been left homeless and 22 of Gaza's 36 hospitals are not functioning, according to the World Health Organization.

              Researchers, scientific and health infrastructures are all affected. In Israel and the West Bank, laboratories are empty and most academic work has been halted or slowed. Many Israeli researchers have been called up as military reservists.

              The United Nations Satellite Center ( UNOSAT ) told Nature that the buildings of five of Gaza's six main universities were damaged.

              Nature spoke to researchers in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, as well as their international collaborators, to get their views.

              Israel measures the cost paid

              The fallout from the October 7 Hamas attacks was felt by the academic community throughout Israel, but especially in the south, near the border with Gaza, where the militant organization's attacks took place. Ben-Gurion University (BGU) in the Negev, located in the southern town of Be'er Sheva, about 40 kilometers from Gaza, lost 84 people, including students, faculty members and family members. Five other people were kidnapped and nine were injured, according to a university spokesperson. Among the dead, entire families were wiped out in one day.

              Among them, theoretical physicist Sergey Gredeskul, originally from Ukraine, and his wife Viktoria, killed in their house in Ofakim, about twenty kilometers west of Be'er Sheva. “Besides being a great physicist, Sergey was also a musician, a storyteller and a historian of the famous Kharkiv physics school,” explains Oleg Krichevsky, director of the physics faculty at BGU University, who was a close family friend.

              "That day we were contacted by Gredeskul's grandson, who lives in Europe, and their daughter in Ukraine. He told us that his grandparents were not answering the phone. So we started contacting them. call us. After several unsuccessful attempts, I filed a missing persons notice with the police.

              After learning that the couple had been killed, Krichevsky went to their home to collect their belongings, at the request of their daughter. He says he saw bullet holes everywhere.

              At Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, 34 students and faculty members' parents were killed in southern communities, or were among at least 260 people killed when Hamas militants attacked the Supernova music festival near the border with Gaza. Three parents of professors and students are among some 240 people kidnapped by Hamas. The dead also included army reservists who tried to protect people from the attackers.

              The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, south of Tel Aviv, also lost faculty members. One of them, Marcel Frailich Kaplun, from the science education department, was murdered at Kibbutz Be'eri, the community facility where she lived. Her husband, Dror Kaplun, is still missing.

              Marcelle Frailich Kaplun was a researcher specializing in improving science education, particularly chemistry. “Marcelle was the kind of person everyone likes to work with: intelligent, dedicated, the type to energize others,” wrote her colleague Miri Kesner in a tribute published by the Weizmann Institute. She was “passionate about demonstrating the relevance of chemistry to industry and to our daily lives,” Ms. Kesner wrote.

              Arie Zaban, president of Bar-Ilan University, explains that the campus is empty because the start of the academic year has been postponed and many doctoral students and young researchers have been drafted into the army . The university opened an emotional helpline. The optometry department activated its mobile vision clinic, which travels to treat evacuees from kibbutzim and southern cities, such as Ofakim and Netivot.

              “A lot of people lost their glasses during the evacuation, so [optometrists] come to do eye exams and prepare special glasses for them,” explains Mr. Zaban. While tensions are high, the university of Tel Aviv also supports its Arab Israeli students, who represent 15% of the student population.

              “We have made it a priority to ensure that these students feel safe when they come to the university,” Vice President Millet Shamir said in a statement posted on the university’s website. “We have a zero-tolerance policy for incitement and hate speech on our campus, whether directed against Jews or Arabs.

              Gaza universities targeted

              Israel's bombings and ground operations against Hamas in Gaza are wreaking havoc on universities and scientific infrastructure.

              Gaza has 17 higher education institutions, 6 of which are traditional universities, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics , based in Ramallah in the West Bank. A seventh, Al-Quds Open University (AQOU), provides distance education. All seven universities have campuses in areas that the Israeli military has ordered to evacuate.

              According to data from the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, based in Ramallah, the buildings of five of the traditional universities were moderately or severely damaged, including Al-Azhar University - Gaza, Gaza University and the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), all located in Gaza City (see "Israel-Hamas conflict"). UNOSAT independently noted damage to buildings at these five universities. A UNOSAT image analyst told Nature that the agency uses "visual change detection analysis", a method of comparing satellite images collected before and after an event, to locate and assess damaged buildings.

              Nine of the 14 buildings at IUG, the territory's oldest higher education institution, were destroyed in two waves of bombing on October 9 and 11, including science laboratories, information technology buildings and medical teaching buildings. None of IUG's 17,000 students or more than 300 faculty members were on site at the time of the destruction. However, many students were killed or injured in other bombings, says Amani Al Mqadma, the university's head of international relations.

              In a press release dated October 11 and accompanied by a video, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the country's military, confirmed that they had attacked the IUG. According to the statement, the university served as a "training camp for military intelligence officers, as well as for the development and production of weapons" and conferences were held to "raise funds for terrorism."

              Nature asked the IDF if it could provide evidence that the university was involved in illegal activities. An IDF spokesperson responded in an emailed statement: "The IDF is currently focused on eliminating the [threat] from the terrorist organization Hamas. Issues of this type will be considered at a later date."

              Nature was able to contact four researchers at universities in Gaza. Three of them have been left homeless since the bombing began and are among more than 1.6 million people who have been displaced within the Gaza Strip in response to IDF instructions to move to South. All expressed the feeling of now being alone.

              The AQOU branch in Gaza also reported damage caused by the bombings. Mohammad Abu Jazar, an environmental engineer at the university, says he has lost all hope that the international community will come to their aid. "I'm sorry, but I don't believe there is a scientific community, or a global scientific community, that can do anything."

              Hatem Ali Elaydi, an electrical engineer at the IUG, explains that he hosts 74 people from 7 families in his home. He says his daily priority is searching for food, clean water , medicine, cleaning supplies and clothes for families who have lost their homes. "There is no electricity, no Internet, no drinking water, no fuel" and families drink salt water from the sea. He says they start their day by taking news of each other to find out who they lost in the bombings of the previous night.

              Bill Williamson, a social scientist at the University of Durham, UK, conducted research for an upcoming study on Palestinian higher education. "I was writing about a system, which still worked, with all its faults. Today, it is being destroyed, at least in Gaza," he explains.

              Fears for the West Bank In the West Bank, where nearly three million Palestinians live, parts of local government are run by the Palestinian National Authority. However, Israel retains responsibility for borders and security, and its citizens are increasingly settling in the region. According to OCHA, as of November 15, 183 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces. in the West Bank since October 7, bringing the death toll for 2023 to 427.

              Three Israelis were killed in attacks by Palestinians, according to the UN. On October 9, Israel's Arms Licensing Department launched what it called "an emergency operation to enable as many civilians as possible to arm themselves."

              Researchers interviewed by Nature say this increased violence has shut down face-to-face teaching and research at the West Bank's 34 higher education institutions, including 13 universities, compounding difficulties faced by staff and students. .

              Majdi Owda, a data analytics researcher at the Arab American University in Ramallah, says students and faculty are now at increased risk of being shot if they visit campuses. This is also partly explained by the fact that Palestinian motor vehicles can be identified by their license plates. “For the moment, we cannot allow anyone to move around in such an environment,” he explains.

              “Security comes first,” adds Raed Debiy, spokesperson for An-Najah National University in Nablus, in the West Bank. Debiy says the university sends medical students who have completed their clinical training to West Bank hospitals to help injured people.

              Arrests of Palestinian academics and students have also increased. For many years, Israeli authorities have used administrative detention orders, a legal procedure that allows the military to arrest and imprison people considered to pose a security risk, without the need to to explain the charges against them. As of the end of June this year, 1,117 Palestinians were detained under this system, according to the human rights organization B'Tselem in Jerusalem. More recent data is not yet available.

              On November 1, astrophysicist Imad Barghouthi of Jerusalem's Al-Quds University was sentenced to six months in prison after police burst into his home at 3 a.m. on October 23 and handcuffed him. and took him away, according to his daughter Duha.

              Mario Martone, a theoretical physicist at King's College London and a member of Scientists for Palestine, which promotes research in the Palestinian territories, is campaigning for Barghouti's release. He says Mr. Barghouti has great influence in his field. "His early work on plasma dynamics in the cosmological context was international in scope. He has no political affiliation and has never carried out violent actions," says Mr. Martone.

              Nature has contacted the IDF for more details on Barghouthi's arrest. The agency referred us to the Shin Bet, Israel's security agency, and the police. At the time of publication of this article, neither had responded.

              Arrests of Palestinian academics and students have also increased. For many years, Israeli authorities have used administrative detention orders, a legal procedure that allows the military to arrest and imprison people considered to pose a security risk, without the need to to explain the charges against them. As of the end of June this year, 1,117 Palestinians were detained under this system, according to the human rights organization B'Tselem in Jerusalem. More recent data is not yet available.

              On November 1, astrophysicist Imad Barghouthi of Jerusalem's Al-Quds University was sentenced to six months in prison after police burst into his home at 3 a.m. on October 23 and handcuffed him. and took him away, according to his daughter Duha.

              Mario Martone, a theoretical physicist at King's College London and a member of Scientists for Palestine, which promotes research in the Palestinian territories, is campaigning for Barghouti's release. He says Mr. Barghouti has great influence in his field.

              "His early work on plasma dynamics in the cosmological context was international in scope. He has no political affiliation and has never carried out violent actions," says Mr. Martone.

              Nature has contacted the IDF for more details on Barghouthi's arrest. The agency referred us to the Shin Bet, Israel's security agency, and the police. At the time of publication of this article, neither had responded.

              The current situation "is really sad, really traumatic," says Arie Zaban, president of Bar-Ilan University and president of the Association of University Directors in Israel.

              “But at the same time, I know we will get through this and make this country a better place, in the name of the people who lost their lives.” Bar-Ilan concluded a bilateral cooperation agreement with the Moroccan National Consortium for Energy Transition, which includes 20 research groups from Moroccan universities. Mr. Zaban expects these collaborations to continue. “These projects usually happen person to person, and once that happens, it's a very strong relationship and it takes a lot to break it,” he explains.

              At the same time, most international students and researchers who worked at the Weizmann Institute have returned or are returning to their home countries, says Eyal Rotenberg, an earth scientist at the Weizmann Institute. International scientific collaboration is seriously affected.

              The situation is similar in the West Bank. Mr. Debiy, of An-Najah University, says joint projects, including conferences with colleagues from Europe and the United States, are being canceled or postponed. International academics can no longer come to the West Bank. “It is no longer even very safe to access the bridge between Jordan and Palestine.”

              "We had an international conference on dentistry that was postponed. An international research conference for medical students, which was supposed to start on October 8, was completely canceled," he adds. Some informal cooperation existed between researchers from Israel and the Palestinian territories. But Yaakov Garb, a social and environmental scientist at BGU, says his Gaza-based colleagues now "spend most of their days searching for clean water and basic supplies."

              Mr Williamson is a trustee of the Durham Palestine Educational Trust, a UK charity which supports Palestinian students and researchers to study at Durham University. He hopes "that once the war is over, we can encourage relevant governments and academics to think about helping rebuild Palestinian higher education."

              “This is not just a good thing for the Palestinians; it is essential that we do this for the collective security of the Middle East and, indeed, for a better world.

              doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d44148-023-00322-w

              "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
              -Nelson Mandela

              Comment


              • #37
                FROM AFP NEWS

                Hundreds Flee Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital On Foot: AFP Journalist

                By AFP - Agence France Presse
                November 18, 2023

                Hundreds of people evacuated Gaza's Al-Shifa hospital on foot Saturday, an AFP journalist at the scene saw, after the hospital director said the Israeli army ordered the hospital emptied.

                The Hamas-run health ministry said in a statement 120 wounded were still at the facility, along with an unspecified number of premature babies, adding it was in touch with the Red Cross about the infants.

                Officials said a few medical staff stayed behind to care for those who could not be moved.

                Columns of sick and injured -- some of them amputees -- displaced people, doctors and nurses, made their way towards the seafront.

                Israel's army denied ordering the evacuation.

                The army "acceded to the request of the director of the Shifa Hospital to enable additional Gazans who were in the hospital, and would like to evacuate, to do so" an army statement said.

                The United Nations estimated 2,300 patients, staff and displaced Palestinians were sheltering at Al-Shifa before Israeli troops moved in on Wednesday.

                ...https://www.barrons.com/news/hundred...alist-9b1a0af0
                "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                -Nelson Mandela

                Comment


                • #38
                  WHO leads very high-risk joint humanitarian mission to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza

                  18 November 2023 Statement
                  ...
                  Earlier today, a joint UN humanitarian assessment team led by WHO accessed Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza to assess the situation on the ground, conduct a rapid situational analysis, assess medical priorities and establish logistics options for further missions. The team included public health experts, logistics officers and security staff from OCHA, UNDSS, UNMAS/UNOPS, UNRWA and WHO.

                  The mission was deconflicted with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to ensure safe passage along the agreed route. However, this was a high-risk operation in an active conflict zone, with heavy fighting ongoing in close proximity to the hospital.

                  Earlier in the day, the IDF had issued evacuation orders to the remaining 2500 internally displaced people who had been seeking refuge on the hospital grounds. They, along with a number of mobile patients and hospital staff, had already vacated the facility by the time of the team's arrival.

                  Due to time limits associated with the security situation, the team was able to spend only one hour inside the hospital, which they described as a “death zone,” and the situation as “desperate.” Signs of shelling and gunfire were evident. The team saw a mass grave at the entrance of the hospital and was told more than 80 people were buried there.

                  Lack of clean water, fuel, medicines, food and other essential aid over the last 6 weeks have caused Al-Shifa Hospital – once the largest, most advanced and best equipped referral hospital in Gaza – to essentially stop functioning as a medical facility. The team observed that due to the security situation, it has been impossible for the staff to carry out effective waste management in the hospital. Corridors and the hospital grounds were filled with medical and solid waste, increasing the risk of infection. Patients and health staff with whom they spoke were terrified for their safety and health, and pleaded for evacuation. Al-Shifa Hospital can no longer admit patients, with the injured and sick now being directed to the seriously overwhelmed and barely functioning Indonesian Hospital.

                  There are 25 health workers and 291 patients remaining in Al-Shifa, with several patient deaths having occurred over the previous 2 to 3 days due to the shutting down of medical services. Patients include 32 babies in extremely critical condition, 2 people in intensive care without ventilation, and 22 dialysis patients whose access to life-saving treatment has been severely compromised. The vast majority of patients are victims of war trauma, including many with complex fractures and amputations, head injuries, burns, chest and abdominal trauma, and 29 patients with serious spinal injuries who are unable to move without medical assistance. Many trauma patients have severely infected wounds due to lack of infection control measures in the hospital and unavailability of antibiotics.

                  Given the current state of the hospital, which is no longer operational or admitting new patients, the team was requested to evacuate health workers and patients to other facilities. WHO and partners are urgently developing plans for the immediate evacuation of the remaining patients, staff and their families. Over the next 24–72 hours, pending guarantees of safe passage by parties to the conflict, additional missions are being arranged to urgently transport patients from Al-Shifa to Nasser Medical Complex and European Gaza Hospital in the south of Gaza. However, these hospitals are already working beyond capacity, and new referrals from Al-Shifa Hospital will further strain overburdened health staff and resources.

                  WHO is deeply concerned about the safety and health needs of patients, health workers and internally displaced people sheltering at the few remaining partially functional hospitals in the north, which are facing the risk of closure due to a lack of fuel, water, medical supplies and food, and the intense hostilities. Immediate efforts must be made to restore the functionality of Al-Shifa and all other hospitals to provide urgently needed health services in Gaza.

                  WHO reiterates its plea for collective efforts to bring an end to the hostilities and humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. We call for an immediate ceasefire, the sustained flow of humanitarian assistance at scale, unhindered humanitarian access to all of those in need, the unconditional release of all hostages, and the cessation of attacks on health care and other vital infrastructure. The extreme suffering of the people of Gaza demands that we respond immediately and concretely with humanity and compassion.

                  Earlier today, a joint UN humanitarian assessment team led by WHO accessed Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza to assess the situation on the ground, conduct a rapid situational analysis, assess medical priorities and establish logistics options for further missions. The team included public health experts, logistics officers and security staff from OCHA, UNDSS, UNMAS/UNOPS, UNRWA and WHO.  The mission was deconflicted with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to ensure safe passage along the agreed route. However, this was a high-risk operation in an active conflict zone, with heavy fighting ongoing in close proximity to the hospital. Earlier in the day, the IDF had issued evacuation orders to the remaining 2500 internally displaced people who had been seeking refuge on the hospital grounds. They, along with a number of mobile patients and hospital staff, had already vacated the facility by the time of the team's arrival.  Due to time limits associated with the security situation, the team was able to spend only one hour inside the hospital, which they described as a “death zone,” and the situation as “desperate.” Signs of shelling and gunfire were evident. The team saw a mass grave at the entrance of the hospital and was told more than 80 people were buried there. Lack of clean water, fuel, medicines, food and other essential aid over the last 6 weeks have caused Al-Shifa Hospital – once the largest, most advanced and best equipped referral hospital in Gaza – to essentially stop functioning as a medical facility. The team observed that due to the security situation, it has been impossible for the staff to carry out effective waste management in the hospital. Corridors and the hospital grounds were filled with medical and solid waste, increasing the risk of infection. Patients and health staff with whom they spoke were terrified for their safety and health, and pleaded for evacuation. Al-Shifa Hospital can no longer admit patients, with the injured and sick now being directed to the seriously overwhelmed and barely functioning Indonesian Hospital. There are 25 health workers and 291 patients remaining in Al-Shifa, with several patient deaths having occurred over the previous 2 to 3 days due to the shutting down of medical services. Patients include 32 babies in extremely critical condition, 2 people in intensive care without ventilation, and 22 dialysis patients whose access to life-saving treatment has been severely compromised. The vast majority of patients are victims of war trauma, including many with complex fractures and amputations, head injuries, burns, chest and abdominal trauma, and 29 patients with serious spinal injuries who are unable to move without medical assistance. Many trauma patients have severely infected wounds due to lack of infection control measures in the hospital and unavailability of antibiotics.   Given the current state of the hospital, which is no longer operational or admitting new patients, the team was requested to evacuate health workers and patients to other facilities. WHO and partners are urgently developing plans for the immediate evacuation of the remaining patients, staff and their families. Over the next 24–72 hours, pending guarantees of safe passage by parties to the conflict, additional missions are being arranged to urgently transport patients from Al-Shifa to Nasser Medical Complex and European Gaza Hospital in the south of Gaza. However, these hospitals are already working beyond capacity, and new referrals from Al-Shifa Hospital will further strain overburdened health staff and resources.   WHO is deeply concerned about the safety and health needs of patients, health workers and internally displaced people sheltering at the few remaining partially functional hospitals in the north, which are facing the risk of closure due to a lack of fuel, water, medical supplies and food, and the intense hostilities. Immediate efforts must be made to restore the functionality of Al-Shifa and all other hospitals to provide urgently needed health services in Gaza. WHO reiterates its plea for collective efforts to bring an end to the hostilities and humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.  We call for an immediate ceasefire, the sustained flow of humanitarian assistance at scale, unhindered humanitarian access to all of those in need, the unconditional release of all hostages, and the cessation of attacks on health care and other vital infrastructure. The extreme suffering of the people of Gaza demands that we respond immediately and concretely with humanity and compassion.


                  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                  WHO-led joint UN and Red Crescent mission evacuates 31 infants from Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza

                  19 November 2023 Statement Geneva/Cairo

                  ...
                  A second WHO-led joint UN mission, working in collaboration with the Palestine Red Crescent Society, earlier today evacuated 31 babies from Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, to a hospital in southern Gaza. The severely ill babies were transported in 6 ambulances supplied and staffed by the Palestine Red Crescent. Other mission members included UN Mine Action, UNICEF and UNRWA. The mission was once again assessed as high-risk, due to the active combat taking place in close proximity to the hospital.

                  These premature and low birthweight babies had earlier been moved from the neonatal unit in Al-Shifa to a safer area in the hospital, due to lack of electricity to run their life support, and security risks in the hospital. Yesterday and last night, two babies died before the evacuation could take place. (Note, there were 33 babies under care yesterday, according to a Ministry of Health update.)

                  The babies were successfully transported to the neonatal intensive care unit at Al-Helal Al-Emarati Maternity Hospital in southern Gaza, where they are being assessed and stabilized. Doctors there say all the babies are fighting serious infections due to lack of medical supplies and impossibility to continue infection control measures in Al-Shifa Hospital. Eleven are in critical condition.

                  Sadly, none of the infants were accompanied by family members, as the Ministry of Health has only limited information, and is not currently able to find close family members. Six health workers and 10 of their family members, who had been sheltering at the hospital, were also evacuated.

                  The evacuation, which was requested by health workers and patients during the joint mission yesterday, became necessary as Al-Shifa Hospital is no longer able to function due to a lack of clean water, fuel, medical supplies, food, other essential items and the intense hostilities. WHO remains deeply concerned about the safety and health needs of patients and health workers who remain at Al-Shifa Hospital, and in the few partially functional hospitals in the north that face imminent closure.

                  Al-Shifa Hospital, previously the largest and most advanced referral hospital in Gaza, together with other hospitals, must be fully restored to provide urgently needed health services in Gaza.

                  Today’s mission was led by senior WHO staff, including a medical specialist and a doctor, and representatives from UNICEF, UNMAS and UNRWA as noted above. It included medical staff from the Palestine Red Crescent Society, along with their ambulances. WHO is grateful for their partnership, and the support of the rest of the UN, working together as One UN.

                  The complex and high-risk operation, occurring in an active conflict zone, follows an assessment mission yesterday, 18 November, which included public health experts, logistics specialists, and security staff from OCHA, UNDSS, UNMAS/UNOPS, UNRWA and WHO. Today’s mission was deconflicted with the Israel Defense Forces and with the defacto authorities.

                  There remain over 250 patients and 20 health workers at Al-Shifa, who all request immediate evacuation. Planning is ongoing to evacuate the remaining patients, their families and the health-care workers. Given the complex security and logistics constraints, these evacuations will take several days to complete. Priority will be given to the 22 dialysis patients and 50 patients with spinal injuries. WHO reaffirms its respect for the dedication, professionalism, humanity and courage of the health staff who have continued to care for their patients under unimaginably difficult conditions.

                  WHO reiterates its plea for collective efforts to bring an end to the hostilities and humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. We call for an immediate ceasefire, the sustained flow of humanitarian assistance at scale, unhindered humanitarian access to all of those in need, the unconditional release of all hostages—many of whom have serious medical needs—and the cessation of attacks on health care and other vital infrastructure.

                  A second WHO-led joint UN mission, working in collaboration with the Palestine Red Crescent Society, earlier today evacuated 31 babies from Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, to a hospital in southern Gaza. The severely ill babies were transported in 6 ambulances supplied and staffed by the Palestine Red Crescent.  Other mission members included UN Mine Action, UNICEF and UNRWA. 
                  "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                  -Nelson Mandela

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Children in Gaza need life-saving support

                    Children and families need humanitarian assistance and protection now.

                    ...
                    Updated 21 November 2023

                    The escalation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip is having a catastrophic impact on children and families. Children are dying at an alarming rate – more than 5,000 have reportedly been killed and thousands more injured. An estimated 1.5 million people in the Gaza Strip have been displaced – more than half of them children. They’re running out of water, food, fuel and medicine. Their homes have been destroyed; their families torn apart.

                    “In all wars it is children who suffer first and suffer most.”

                    Even wars have rules. No child should be cut off from essential services, nor fall from the reach of humanitarian hands. No child should be held hostage or used by any means in armed conflict. Hospitals and schools must be protected from bombings, and they must not be used for military purposes, in accordance with international humanitarian law. No child should suffer the threat of bombs from their beds. The cost to children and their communities of this violence will be borne out for generations to come.


                    What is UNICEF calling for?

                    To respond to the situation for children in Israel and the State of Palestine, UNICEF is calling for:

                    An immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

                    The immediate, safe and unconditional release of all abducted children and the prevention and end to any grave violations against children, including killing and injuring.

                    All access crossings into the Gaza Strip to be opened and safe movement for humanitarian workers and supplies across the Gaza Strip to ensure sustained and unimpeded access of humanitarian aid to affected populations wherever they are. This must include water, food, medical supplies, and fuel.

                    Urgent medical cases in Gaza to be able to safely access critical health services or be allowed to leave, and for injured or sick children evacuated to be accompanied by family members.

                    Respect and protection for civilian infrastructure such as shelters and schools, and health, electric, water and sanitation facilities, to prevent loss of civilian and children’s lives, outbreaks of diseases, and to provide care to the sick and wounded. All parties to the conflict must respect international humanitarian law.

                    UNICEF continues to press world leaders on every occasion for humanitarian access to the whole of Gaza.
                    ...

                    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                    -Nelson Mandela

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Gaza: MSF doctors killed in strike on Al Awda Hospital

                      We condemn this strike in the strongest terms and yet again call for the respect and protection of medical facilities, staff, and patients.

                      November 21, 2023

                      November 21, 2023—Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is horrified by the killing of two of our doctors, Dr. Mahmoud Abu Nujaila and Dr. Ahmad Al Sahar, and another doctor, Dr. Ziad Al-Tatari, following a strike on Al Awda Hospital, which is one of the last remaining functional hospitals in northern Gaza. This tragedy follows the killing of MSF laboratory technician Mohammed Al Ahel, who was killed at home with members of his family in an airstrike on Al Shati refugee camp on November 6.

                      We condemn this strike in the strongest terms and yet again call for the respect and protection of medical facilities, staff, and patients. Dr. Abu Nujaila and Dr. Al Sahar were in the hospital when it was hit on its third and fourth floors. Other medical staff, including MSF staff, were also severely injured. MSF has regularly shared information about Al Awda, including making it clear to warring parties that it is a functioning hospital with medical staff. Just yesterday, GPS coordinates were shared with Israeli authorities.

                      Another serious violation of international humanitarian law
                      More than 200 patients are currently still inside Al Awda and are unable to receive the level of care they need. These patients must be urgently and safely evacuated to other hospitals that are still functioning in Gaza, although all hospitals in the Strip have been working beyond their capacities since October due to ongoing supply shortages, attacks, and extremely high caseloads.

                      ...
                      We condemn this strike in the strongest terms and yet again call for the respect and protection of medical facilities, staff, and patients.


                      -----------------------------------------------------

                      WHO staff member killed in Gaza

                      21 November 2023 Statement Geneva/Cairo/Jerusalem Reading time: 1 min (399 words)
                      ...

                      With heavy hearts, WHO announces the death of one of our staff in Gaza, in the occupied Palestinian territory. Dima Abdullatif Mohammed Alhaj, 29 years old, had been with WHO since December 2019. She worked as a patient administrator at the Limb Reconstruction Centre, a critical part of the WHO Trauma and Emergency Team.

                      Dima died today when her parents’ house in southern Gaza—where she had evacuated to from Gaza City—was bombed. She was tragically killed alongside her husband, their six-month old baby boy, and her two brothers. Reportedly, over 50 family and community members sheltering in the same house also died.

                      Dima had a bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Earth Sciences from the Islamic University of Gaza, and continued to study and work on environmental issues and health. She was a master’s student at Glasgow University, Scotland, UK, as part of the Erasmus exchange program from 2018-2019.

                      On Women’s Day 2022, Dima said in a WHO social media post that she was proud of her work because “it contributes to giving people hope and a new lease on life.”

                      Dr Rik Peeperkorn, the WHO representative in the occupied Palestinian territory said “she was a wonderful person with a radiant smile, cheerful, positive, respectful. She was a true team player. Her work was crucial, and she had been requested to take on even more responsibilities to support the Gaza suboffice and team. This is such a painful loss for all of us. We share our deepest condolences with her mother and father (a long-serving medical specialist in Gaza), her family, and her many friends.”

                      The humanitarian community and UN family have lost other members since 7 October. MSF today lost two doctors. UNRWA has lost 108 colleagues. These are not just numbers, but people who were working so that others could have a better life.

                      The death of Dima and her family is another example of the senseless loss in this conflict. Civilians have died in their homes, at their workplaces, while evacuating, while sheltering in schools, while being cared for in hospitals.

                      When will it stop?

                      We plead again with all those who hold in their hands the power to end this conflict to do so.

                      All of the WHO stands alongside Dima’s family and colleagues in the occupied Palestinian territory, the Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, and across the organization to mourn her loss.

                      With heavy hearts, WHO announces the death of one of our staff in Gaza, in the occupied Palestinian territory. Dima Abdullatif Mohammed Alhaj, 29 years old, had been with WHO since December 2019.
                      "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                      -Nelson Mandela

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Joint UN mission transfers critical patients from Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, under intense fighting

                        24 November 2023
                        Statement

                        Geneva/Cairo

                        Reading time: 2 min (577 words)

                        On 22 November, in cooperation with the Palestine Red Crescent Society, WHO participated in another joint-UN mission to transfer 151 patients, relatives and health workers accompanying them from Al-Shifa hospital in northern Gaza. The mission was undertaken following specific requests from health authorities and hospital officials in Gaza.


                        This was the third mission to Al-Shifa carried out by WHO, other UN agencies and partners in less than a week; the first was an assessment mission (18 November) and the second was an evacuation mission to transport 31 infants (19 November).

                        During this mission, the team transferred 73 severely ill or injured patients, including 18 dialysis patients; 26 patients with serious spinal injuries; 8 patients with severe chronic conditions; two in need of critical care; and 19 patients in wheelchairs. The patients were transported in 14 ambulances supplied and staffed by the Palestine Red Crescent Society, and two buses, with 8 health workers and 70 family members accompanying them.

                        This was a high-risk mission, as intense fighting and shelling continued in proximity of Al-Shifa hospital.

                        It took 20 hours for the team to complete the evacuation, including 6 hours at a checkpoint where the team and patients were screened by the Israeli Defense Force. This was despite an initial agreement to only screen participants at the origination point in Al-Shifa Hospital.

                        The screening process involved checks on the patients, their relatives, and the personnel; these included elderly, children and severely ill patients. Three medical personnel from the Palestine Red Crescent Society and three from the Ministry of Health were detained.

                        After 6 hours at the security checkpoint, the convoy proceeded as the condition of some of patients was already deteriorating. Patients reached their final destination late at night.

                        Most of the patients were ultimately transferred to the European Gaza Hospital, with the dialysis patients admitted to Al Najjar Hospital. Both facilities are in the south of Gaza.

                        WHO is extremely concerned about the safety of the estimated 100 patients and health workers remaining at Al-Shifa. Due to the limited time that the mission members were able to spend in the hospital and the urgency of moving the most critical, it was difficult to determine exactly how many remain.

                        Two of the six detained health workers have reportedly been released. We do not have information about the well-being of the four remaining health staff, including the director of Al-Shifa hospital. WHO calls for their legal and human rights to be fully observed during their detention.

                        This and other evacuations were requested by health authorities, health workers and patients, and became necessary as Al-Shifa Hospital is no longer able to function due to lack of water, fuel, medical supplies, food, and staff, and recent military incursions.

                        Also on 21 November, WHO and partners undertook a mission to Al-Ahli Hospital in northern Gaza to assess medical priorities. Al-Ahli, which is one of the only functional hospitals in the north, must be urgently and regularly supplied with fuel, water, food and medical supplies to ensure the continuity of care. Today, 22 patients along with 19 companions arrived at the European Gaza hospital, in the transfer mission undertaken with the Palestine Red Crescent Society, following the assessement mission.

                        WHO again asks all relevant authorities to ensure that the medical evacuations that WHO has been requested to assist in can proceed safely, under agreed procedures, without endangering the lives of patients. Ultimately, the safety, security and evacuation decisions rest with the relevant authorities.​


                        On 22 November, in cooperation with the Palestine Red Crescent Society, WHO participated in another joint-UN mission to transfer 151 patients, relatives and health workers accompanying them from Al-Shifa hospital in northern Gaza.
                        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                        -Nelson Mandela

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing – 29 November 2023

                          29 November 2023

                          Good morning, good afternoon and good evening,

                          WHO welcomes the extension of the humanitarian pause in the conflict in Gaza, and the release of hostages and prisoners by both sides.

                          The pause has enabled WHO to increase deliveries of medical supplies in Gaza, and to transfer patients from Al-Shifa hospital to other hospitals south of the Wadi Gaza.

                          During the first three days of the pause, WHO received 121 pallets of supplies into our warehouse in Gaza, including IV fluids, medicines, lab supplies, medical disposables, and trauma and surgical supplies.

                          This is enough to support about 90 000 people.

                          However, much more is needed.

                          We continue to call for a sustained ceasefire so that aid can continue to be delivered to end further civilian suffering.

                          And we call for the remaining Israeli hostages to be released, and for those who are still being held to receive the medical care they need.

                          WHO’s greatest concern remains supporting Gaza’s health system and health workers to function.

                          Only 15 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are still functioning at all, but are completely overwhelmed. For example, European Gaza Hospital is currently operating at triple its capacity.

                          Of the 25 hospitals north of the Wadi Gaza before the conflict began, only three are functioning at the most basic level, but they lack fuel, water and food.

                          The remaining health system capacity must be protected, supported and expanded.

                          The health needs of the population of Gaza have increased dramatically, but they are now being serviced by one third of the hospitals and primary care clinics.

                          And with severe overcrowding, the risks are increasing for epidemics of respiratory tract infections, acute watery diarrhea, hepatitis, scabies, lice and other diseases.

                          WHO is working to support Gaza’s health system and health workers in every way we can.

                          Together with partners, we are distributing supplies, coordinating emergency medical teams to provide extra clinical capacity for existing hospitals, and establishing standalone field hospitals in strategic locations.

                          We thank those partners who are working with us.

                          But we repeat that emergency medical teams and field hospitals can only complement Gaza’s health system, not replace it.

                          The priority must be to support Gaza’s health workers, hospitals and clinics to do their jobs.

                          ===

                          "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                          -Nelson Mandela

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