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WHO slams ‘abrupt halt’ to medical evacuations from Gaza

May 29, 2024 at 11:45 am

A Palestinian boy injured in an Israeli airstrike is brought to Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital for medical treatment in Deir al Balah, Gaza on May 29, 2024 [Ashraf Amra – Anadolu Agency]

There has been an “abrupt halt” to medical evacuations from Gaza, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said yesterday, while 10,000 Palestinians need to be evacuated for urgent medical care.

“There’s been an abrupt halt to all medical evacuations,” WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris said at a UN press briefing.

“We have around 10,000 people who need to be evacuated. And since the increase in the violence in the area and Rafah, and the limitation on the services, we now have an extra 1,000 critically ill and injured patients who’ve been unable to leave Gaza to receive the much-needed medical treatment elsewhere,” Harris stressed.

She noted that no evacuation has been carried out since 7 May, the day Israeli occupation forces took control of the Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

The exact number of Palestinians have died as a result of their inability to leave the enclave for medical assistance is unknown, she added.  However, “a number” of patients lost their lives while waiting for approval of their referral before evacuations were halted.

Israel has killed more than 36,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since 7 October 2023.

The military campaign has turned much of the enclave into ruins, leaving most civilians homeless and at risk of famine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the ICJ, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

READ: Venezuela: Israel’s massacres in Gaza most horrific genocide since Hitler