Middle East

WHO says 270 patients reportedly self-evacuated from European Hospital in Khan Younis

Although it is not under evacuation orders, insecurity in Gaza's European Hospital's proximity can make it inoperable very quickly, says WHO representative in Palestinian territories

Beyza Binnur Dönmez  | 02.07.2024 - Update : 02.07.2024
WHO says 270 patients reportedly self-evacuated from European Hospital in Khan Younis Patients and wounded in the Gaza European Hospital, one of the few health centers operating in the Gaza Strip, are evacuated to be transferred to Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, Gaza on July 02, 2024


The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday said 270 patients reportedly self-evacuated from Gaza's European Hospital in Khan Younis following Israel's evacuation orders. 

Richard Peeperkorn, WHO representative in the occupied Palestinian territories, told a UN press briefing in Geneva that the latest evacuation orders have an impact on operations at the European Gaza Hospital, even though the hospital itself is not under evacuation orders.

"But as witnessed several times during the ongoing war, insecurity in a hospital's proximity and lack of access for patients, health workers, and humanitarians to resupply fuel, medical supplies, water and food can make hospitals non-functional very quickly," Peeperkorn warned.

Noting that 270 patients, besides medical staff, self-evacuated on Monday, he said the evacuations from the hospital resumed Tuesday morning with the assistance of the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Now, "only there patients" remain at the European Gaza Hospital, and "three" at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) field hospital, he said.

He noted that most patients have been referred to Nasser Medical Complex.

The WHO representative added that the Health Ministry had requested assistance in transferring valuable medical equipment and supplies out of the hospital.

"WHO will be supporting this mission," Peeperkorn vowed.

The Israeli army on Monday ordered residents of eastern Khan Younis to immediately leave, claiming the area has become a "dangerous combat zone."

The army asked the people to head to “humanitarian zones” in the western part of the city, known as the Al-Mawasi area.

Israel, flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by the Palestinian group Hamas.

More than 37,900 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly women and children, and around 87,141 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Over eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered it to immediately halt its military operation in Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

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