Gaza’s remaining hospitals will stop working in two days, health officials warn

Gaza’s remaining hospitals, health centers and oxygen stations will stop working within 48 hours as the fuel needed to operate generators runs out, Gaza’s Health Ministry said in a statement shared to Telegram noon local time Sunday.

Israel’s closure of the vital Rafah border crossing last month severed key supply lines, limiting access to food, fuel and medical supplies inside the enclave, aid groups say. A United Nations report released earlier this month said that more than 1 million people in Gaza are expected to “face death and starvation” by mid-July.

Many of Gaza’s medical facilities have already been damaged, raided or evacuated since Oct. 7. Israel has made hospitals a key target of its military campaign, alleging Hamas uses them for militant activity. In other instances, fighting between Israeli forces and militants has struck hospitals and clinics.

UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, said last week that a “severe shortage of medicine & fuel” was delaying lifesaving operations by its teams inside the enclave. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned Friday that the lack of medicine and fuel “has forced aid organizations to scale back their services.”

Fuel shortages in Gaza also mean water sanitation and hygiene services are “hanging by a thread,” OCHA added.


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Rabih Torbay, CEO of the aid organization Project Hope, said: “The fuel situation is critical per feedback from our team and the humanitarian community. … Our team in minimizing movements to conserve fuel.”

“Hospital generators are running out and our team is desperately trying to get some so the surgeries don’t stop,” he said.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces continue to operate in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, the Israel Defense Forces said Sunday. Last week, the IDF ordered residents to evacuate the densely-packed area, citing the presence of militants, as strikes intensified. OCHA said Friday that between 60,000 and 80,000 people had been displaced as a result.

Over the past day, Israeli troops killed several militants, located weapons and raided compounds, the IDF said, adding that it also struck “dozens” of infrastructure sites in the area. Israeli forces are also operating in Rafah and central Gaza, the IDF said.

“This is a difficult fight that is being waged above ground, sometimes in hand-to-hand combat, and below ground as well,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a government meeting Sunday.

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Six people, including children, were killed in an Israeli strike on a family home in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, according to WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency. Another citizen was killed on a strike in Al-Daraj neighborhood, east of Gaza City, WAFA reported. The IDF did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this report.

Hamas official Osama Hamdan accused Israel of holding up cease-fire negotiations in a news conference Saturday, adding that the group’s officials “follow with regret the position of the American administration, which insists on holding Hamas responsible for obstructing reaching an agreement.” The White House has urged Hamas accept the U.S.-backed proposal, which the U.N. Security Council approved. Netanyahu on Sunday said Hamas “is the only obstacle to the release of our hostages.” Netanyahu said last week that he would only accept a partial deal that would see some hostages freed but continue the war, but later backtracked after a backlash from hostage families and international diplomats.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich on Sunday defended a government decision to expand Israel’s footprint in the West Bank. He said he intended to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, which he said would be “an immediate, existential danger to the state of Israel.” Israel’s security cabinet on Thursday approved the legalization of five West Bank outposts as well as sanctions against Palestinian Authority officials, Smotrich said in a statement. The measures represented a victory for the far-right minister, who has pushed an expansionist agenda in the West Bank. The legalization of the outposts drew international condemnation over the weekend. Most countries consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be illegal under international law.

Thousands of people protested across Israeli cities and towns over the weekend calling for new elections and a cease-fire deal to release the remaining hostages, Israeli media reported. Mass demonstrations took place in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Caesarea and elsewhere.

At least 37,877 people have been killed and 86,969 injured in Gaza since the war started, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. It does not distinguish between civilians and combatants but says the majority of the dead are women and children. Israel estimates that about 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack, including more than 300 soldiers, and it says 316 soldiers have been killed since the start of its military operations in Gaza.

Alon Rom contributed to this report.

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