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Gaza update: Al-Aqsa Hospital, at least 70 dead and over 300 wounded in 24 hours

June 5, 2024 at 3:22 pm

Sick and injured Palestinians receive treatment with limited facilities at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, Gaza on June 02, 2024 [Ashraf Amra – Anadolu Agency]

At least 70 dead Palestinians and over 300 wounded, the majority of whom are women and children, have been taken to Al-Aqsa Hospital since yesterday following heavy Israeli air strikes in the Middle Area of the Gaza Strip, Medicins Sans Frontières has confirmed. The casualties follow an escalation of fighting and bombings over the past 48 hours in the enclave, and specifically in the Middle Area, which have yet again taken a heavy toll on Palestinian civilians.

While the Rafah Crossing remains closed, these repeated mass casualties incidents are bringing the health system to the point of collapse and the situation on the ground is described as “apocalyptic” by MSF teams.

“The odour of blood in the hospital’s emergency room this morning was unbearable,” said the NGO’s  Karin Huster in Gaza. “There are people lying everywhere, on the floor, outside… bodies were being brought in plastic bags. The situation is overwhelming.”

Medical teams in Al-Aqsa Hospital — one of the only remaining functional health facilities in the Middle Area of Gaza — are currently trying to deal with a huge influx of patients, many of them arriving with severe burns, shrapnel wounds, fractures and other traumatic injuries.

“With the insane escalation of violence in various locations of the Gaza Strip over the past 48 hours and while the Rafah Crossing remains closed after a month, the health system has been stretched to the point of collapse,” added Huster. “The situation is apocalyptic.”

MSF said that the repeated mass casualty incidents are “unacceptable” and the “horrific toll” on civilians shows the total disregard for human lives in Gaza. “This man-made catastrophe needs to stop now.”

READ: Israel has killed 15,000 children in Gaza since October