On Tuesday, six hospitals in Gaza had to shut down due to a lack of fuel, and two others have been forced to suspend critical services, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), which called for the safe passage of fuel and supplies to healthcare centers.
“In addition to hospitals that had to close due to damages and attacks, six hospitals in the Gaza Strip have already shut down due to fuel shortages,” the UN agency said.
Some of the facilities in northern Gaza waiting for supplies and fuel include Al Shifa Hospital, where bed occupancy has reached nearly 150 percent.
Among the healthcare centers affected is the Indonesian Hospital, which “last night had to close some critical services due to the lack of fuel and is now operating on a limited basis.”
The Turkish Friendship Hospital, the only oncological hospital in the Gaza Strip, is also operating partially due to a lack of fuel, endangering around 2,000 cancer patients.
The WHO warned that thousands of vulnerable patients are at risk of dying or experiencing medical complications due to the closure of critical services, “unless vital fuel and additional medical supplies are urgently delivered to Gaza.”
There are 1,000 dialysis-dependent patients, 130 premature babies, and patients in intensive care or in need of surgery who rely on a stable electricity supply to stay alive.
On Monday, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) delivered 34,000 liters of fuel to four hospitals in the southern Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Red Crescent to maintain their ambulance services.
“However, this is only sufficient to keep ambulances and critical hospital functions running for a little over 24 hours,” the WHO warned and called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to ensure the safe distribution of medical supplies and fuel throughout the Gaza Strip.
Since Oct. 7, Israeli airstrikes in Gaza have resulted in the deaths of over 5,000 Palestinians and left at least 15,000 wounded, who are struggling without basic healthcare conditions.