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Visiting doctors stunned by the war’s toll on Palestinian kids

Updated on: 29 March,2024 05:59 AM IST  |  Deir Al-Balah
Agencies |

Most of Gaza’s 36 hospitals have shut down, with around a dozen partially functioning

Visiting doctors stunned by the war’s toll on Palestinian kids

People shop from vendors in an open-air market amidst destruction in Gaza City. Pic/AP

An international team of doctors visiting a hospital in central Gaza was prepared for the worst. But the gruesome impact Israel’s war against Hamas is having on Palestinian children still left them stunned. One toddler died from a brain injury caused by an Israeli strike that fractured his skull. His cousin, an infant, is still fighting for her life with part of her face blown off by the same strike. An unrelated 10-year-old boy screamed out in pain for his parents, not knowing that they were killed in the strike. Beside him was his sister, but he didn’t recognise her because burns covered almost her entire body.

These gut-wrenching casualties were described by Tanya Haj-Hassan, a pediatric intensive-care doctor from Jordan, following a 10-hour overnight shift at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the town of Deir al-Balah. Haj-Hassan, who has extensive experience in Gaza and regularly speaks out about the war’s devastating effects, was part of a team that recently finished a two-week stint there. Roughly a dozen of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are only partially functioning. The rest have either shut down or are barely functioning after they ran out of fuel and medicine, were surrounded and raided by Israeli troops, or damaged.

Israel continues operations in Shifa hospital

Israeli soldiers continued operations against Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists holed up in Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital and in Khan Yunis. Israel returned to the hospital, Gaza’s largest, after receiving intelligence that senior Hamas figures were inside, planning attacks. Since entering the compound on March 18, Israel has killed over 200 terrorists and detained 800 terror suspects.

Online media site sanctioned for ‘supporting Hamas’

The US has imposed sanctions on online media site Gaza Now and its founder Mustafa Ayash for allegedly supporting Hamas. Gaza Now’s Arabic channel has more than 300,000 followers on social media channel X and a large following on the encrypted chat platform Telegram. Included in the sanctions are firms Al-Qureshi Executives and Aakhirah Ltd., and their director Aozma Sultana, who are alleged to have partnered on multiple fundraising efforts alongside Gaza Now. The sanctions were imposed in collaboration with the UK’s Office of Foreign Sanctions Implementation.

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