WHO completes second evacuation from Gaza’s Nasser Hospital

WHO completes second evacuation from Gaza’s Nasser Hospital amidst ongoing conflict, leaving 150 patients and staff in peril.

The World Health Organization (WHO) completed its second evacuation mission from Gaza’s Nasser Hospital amidst ongoing fighting, expressing concern for the remaining 150 patients and medical staff. The hospital in Khan Younis, Gaza’s second-largest, ceased operations after enduring a week-long Israeli siege followed by a raid. WHO personnel and other aid groups managed to evacuate 32 critical patients, including injured children and individuals with paralysis, over the course of two days. However, with limited supplies and deteriorating conditions, worries persist for those left behind.

According to the WHO, the safety and well-being of the patients and health workers remaining in the hospital are at risk, with further disruption to essential care potentially leading to more fatalities. Israeli authorities claim that Hamas, the militant group governing Gaza, uses hospitals for cover, a charge vehemently denied by Hamas, which accuses Israel of using such allegations as a pretext to dismantle the healthcare system.


Tarik Jašarević, WHO spokesperson, recounted the challenges faced during the rescue mission, describing how staff navigated dark corridors with flashlights amid gunfire. Moreover, logistical hurdles, such as an impassable muddy ditch near the hospital, necessitated aid to arrive on foot.

The dire situation at Nasser Hospital has been exacerbated by fuel shortages, oxygen deficits, and the absence of electricity and running water. Medical waste and garbage accumulation pose additional health risks, creating a breeding ground for diseases.

Palestinian health authorities have decried the conditions at the hospital, asserting that Israeli forces have effectively transformed the site into a military outpost. Already, eight patients have succumbed to the dire circumstances, primarily due to lack of fuel and oxygen.

The ongoing conflict, which began over four months ago following a Hamas attack on southern Israel, has exacted a heavy toll on Gaza’s population. Israeli airstrikes and ground operations have resulted in thousands of casualties, displacing a significant portion of the enclave’s 2.3 million inhabitants. Amidst the chaos, over a million Gazans now seek refuge in UN shelters or makeshift accommodations along the border with Egypt.

Efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza remain paramount, with international organizations like the WHO striving to evacuate vulnerable individuals and provide essential medical assistance amidst the relentless violence.