Gaza's only cancer hospital goes out of service, health officials say
PHOTO CAPTION: A man gestures as Palestinians search for casualties a day after Israeli strikes on houses in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, November 1, 2023. REUTERS/Mohammed Al-Masri
DUBAI (Reuters) - The only cancer treatment hospital in the Gaza Strip has gone out of service after it ran out of fuel, health officials said on Wednesday.
The director of the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship hospital told a press conference aired by Al-Jazeera TV that the hospital, which mainly treats cancer patients, had used up its fuel and was now out of service.
"We tell the world don't leave cancer patients to a certain death due to the hospital being out of service," the director, Subhi Skaik, added.
Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila confirmed the director's remarks in a statement, adding that this brings the total number of hospitals not operating right now in the Strip to 16 out of 35.
"The lives of 70 cancer patients inside the hospital are seriously threatened," she said in a statement.
"The number of cancer patients in the Gaza Strip is about 2,000 living in catastrophic health conditions as a result of the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Strip and the displacement of a large number," al-Kaila added.
After fighters of the Palestinian group Hamas attacked southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,400 people, Israel responded with a total blockade of Gaza, heavy bombardment and a ground operation.
Israel has vowed to wipe out Hamas. But the desperate humanitarian conditions have caused great concern across the world as food, fuel, drinking water and medicine run short and hospitals struggle to treat casualties.
The death toll in Gaza reached 8,796 Palestinians, including 3,648 children, on Wednesday, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-controlled enclave.
(Reporting by Nayera Abdallah, Editing by William Maclean)