Saturday, November 11, 2023

Gazans at Al-Shafaa Hospital Endure ‘Unbearable’ Conditions | TOME


Al-Shafaa Medical Complex: A Refuge for Displaced Palestinians in Gaza

The Al-Shafaa Medical Complex in the Gaza Strip has become a sanctuary for over 50,000 displaced Palestinians who are seeking safety amidst the ongoing Israeli onslaught. Despite being a target for the attacks, the hospital has opened its doors to those in need, accommodating them in makeshift tents outside and even in the corridors and waiting rooms.

As the largest medical center in Gaza, Al-Shafaa is facing immense challenges. Doctors are working tirelessly to treat thousands of serious injuries, despite severe shortages of medical resources, clean water, and power. The situation is further exacerbated by the repeated bombardment of the hospital and its ambulances by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), who claim that Al-Shafaa is being used as a command center by Hamas. However, Hamas denies these allegations and asserts that hospitals are not being utilized for military purposes.

In addition to Al-Shafaa, several other hospitals in Gaza have also been targeted by the IDF, including Al-Nasr Children’s Hospital and the Indonesian Hospital. This relentless bombing has left the medical infrastructure in shambles, making it even more challenging for healthcare professionals to provide adequate care to the displaced Palestinians.

The displaced Palestinians seeking refuge at Al-Shafaa are facing unbearable conditions. Overcrowding, lack of basic necessities such as clean water, and power shortages have made their lives incredibly difficult. The medical center relies on weak solar-powered generators, which are unable to meet the increasing demand for electricity. Abu Mohammad Al-Mallahi, who has been staying in a makeshift tent with his family outside the hospital, expressed his concerns about the scarcity of clean drinking water and the absence of food parcels.

The situation is dire, with Gaza divided into three parts, one of which lacks access to essential supplies like vegetables, flour, and bread. People are living day by day, unsure if they will make it through the night and uncertain if they will wake up in the morning. Innocent civilians, including women and children, are pleading for assistance from the United Nations to alleviate their suffering.

The water shortage has forced many to resort to drinking seawater, putting thousands at risk of dehydration and disease. Abu Mahmoud Hanniyyeh, another displaced individual seeking refuge outside Al-Shafaa, shared the desperate measures they have taken to quench their thirst. With no access to drinking water, food, telephone or internet connection, and social media, their lives have been reduced to mere survival.

Umm Rami, a mother from Gaza who has also been displaced, expressed her longing for a glass of clean water. She revealed that young children have been forced to drink salty water, and there is a scarcity of medication and food for children. The lack of medical treatment for the sick has further exacerbated the dire situation. Umm Rami lamented, “Death is more merciful than this life.”

Since the start of Israel’s assault on October 7, at least 10,800 Palestinians have lost their lives, with many more wounded. The surprise incursion by Hamas fighters into Israel triggered this violent response, leaving over 2,650 people missing. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza continues to worsen as innocent civilians bear the brunt of the conflict.

In conclusion, the Al-Shafaa Medical Complex in Gaza has become a refuge for displaced Palestinians amidst the ongoing Israeli onslaught. Despite being targeted by the IDF, the hospital has opened its doors to those in need. However, severe shortages of medical resources, clean water, and power have made it challenging for healthcare professionals to provide adequate care. The displaced Palestinians are facing unbearable conditions, with overcrowding and lack of basic necessities. The water shortage has forced many to drink seawater, putting them at risk of dehydration and disease. The international community must step in and provide urgent assistance to alleviate the suffering of innocent civilians caught in this devastating conflict.

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