UNICEF, WHO and UN Population Fund denounce "attacks on hospitals" in Gaza

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"The world cannot remain silent while hospitals that should be safe places become scenes of death, devastation and despair," they emphasize. The EU has called on Israel for "maximum restraint" in response to attacks and fighting in hospital areas.

Several UN agencies have called for a "urgent international action" in response to the "attacks on hospitals" within the framework of the Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip.

The regional directors of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), body dedicated to sexual and reproductive health, have declared themselves "horrified" due to reports of deaths in Gaza, including children.

The WHO in particular has confirmed 137 attacks against health services in Gaza that have caused 521 deaths and 686 people injured, including 16 health workers killed and 38 injured. "The world cannot remain silent while hospitals that should be safe places become scenes of death, devastation and despair," the regional directors have argued.

"Attacks against medical facilities and civilians are unacceptable, a violation of International Law (...). The right to seek medical care should never be denied, especially in times of crisis," they warned.

For all these reasons, they call for "decisive international action" to guarantee an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" and prevent further deaths and "preserve what remains of Gaza's health system."

The director general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has expressed concern about the safety of staff and patients at Al Shifa Hospital, the most important in the Gaza Strip, where patients die due to the impossibility of performing surgical interventions due to the lack of fuel to power the electric generators. Two of the babies in the intensive care unit died this Saturday due to a lack of power to power the health center's incubators.

The EU asks Israel for "maximum containment" in hospital areas

The High Representative of EU Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, has called on Israel for "maximum restraint" in response to the attacks and fighting in hospital areas of the Gaza Strip.

"International Humanitarian Law stipulates that hospitals, medical supplies and civilians inside hospitals must be protected (...). In this context, we urge Israel to exercise maximum restraint to ensure the protection of civilians," he said. Borrell pointed out in an official statement.

Borrell also condemns "the use of hospitals and civilians as human shields" by Hamas. "Civilians must be able to leave the combat zone. These hostilities are seriously affecting hospitals and causing a shocking number of casualties among civilians and medical personnel," he stressed.

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