World Health Organization Trying to Get Access to Gaza Hospital After Raid

GENEVA -The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday it was trying to get access to biggest functioning hospital in Gaza, the Nasser Hospital, following an Israeli raid on the facility.

“There are still critically injured and sick patients that are inside the hospital,” WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said of Nasser Hospital in city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

“There is an urgent need to deliver fuel to ensure the continuation of the provision of life-saving services… We are trying to get access because people who are still in Nasser medical complex need assistance.”

Israel’s military called the raid on Nasser Hospital “precise and limited” and said it was based on information that Hamas militants were keeping hostages in the facility, with some bodies of captives possibly there.

It said on Thursday that it had arranged the transfer of medical supplies and fuel to the hospital in coordination with international organizations.

Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) said Israel shelled Nasser Hospital in the early hours of Thursday, despite having told medical staff and patients they could remain.

“One of our staff members hasn’t been accounted for, and we remain deeply concerned about their wellbeing,” Christopher Lockyear, Secretary General of MSF International, told reporters in Geneva.

“We don’t know what has happened to them since then.”

Another MSF staff member was detained at a checkpoint set up by Israeli forces as people were fleeing the hospital.

“We are hoping that he is going to be treated with respect and dignity,” Lockyear said.

Israel accuses Hamas of regularly using hospitals, ambulances and other medical facilities for military purposes, and has aired footage taken by its troops that it says shows tunnels containing weapons below some hospitals.

“Health facilities and hospitals should be safe spaces,” Lockyear said. “They shouldn’t be being evacuated in the first place.”

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Cécile Mantovani; Editing by Matthias Williams and Toby Chopra)

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