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Israel 'deliberately' targets healthcare institutions in Gaza

The Palestinian ministry of health in the Gaza Strip said on Monday that the Israeli occupation has been "deliberately" targeting healthcare institutions since the beginning of the war, Anadolu news agency reported.

During a press conference at Al-Shifa, the main hospital in Gaza, Deputy Assistant of the Health Minister Medhat Moheesin said: "So far, Israel has targeted 25 healthcare institutions. The last was Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deerul-Balah, in central Gaza Strip, which was hit by 25 artillery shells at midday." The strike killed five Palestinians and left more than a dozen wounded.

Moheesin denounced these attacks for violating international law and war conventions, saying that they go against "the most basic humanitarian morals".

He added that several paramedics were also killed while trying to evacuate casualties from those areas hit hardest by Israeli strikes. The last one was killed in Shajaiya alongside a firefighter and a journalist. All of them were killed while wearing distinctive uniforms.

Regarding the massacre in Shajaiya, he warned of an imminent environmental disaster because Israel continues to prevent the evacuation of those killed remaining under the rubble. He also expressed fears that there might be some wounded still alive who need immediate help.

Since Sunday, the Israeli occupation has been preventing paramedics and firefighters from evacuating casualties or extinguishing fires in the Shajaiya, Tuffah and Zaytoun neighbourhoods.

Moheesin called upon the world to demand the opening of the Rafah Crossing in order to let in urgent humanitarian aid, including medical staff and supplies. He also appealed to all interested organisations to work for the protection of Palestinian healthcare institutions in Gaza.

Israel has killed 584 Palestinians and wounded more than 3,650 since the beginning of its massive assault on the Palestinians in Gaza. Most of the casualties are children, women and the elderly.

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