In a recent statement, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has called for the utmost respect and protection of medical facilities, patients, and healthcare workers in Gaza. Aliyu Dawobe, the ICRC spokesperson, emphasized the dire state of Gaza’s healthcare system, which is currently on the brink of collapse. With limited supplies and an increasingly unsafe environment, thousands of wounded, sick, and displaced individuals are at risk.
Dawobe quoted William Schomburg, the head of ICRC sub-delegation in Gaza, who expressed grave concern over the impact on hospitals, ambulances, civilians, patients, and medical staff. Schomburg also highlighted the devastating effects on children’s hospitals, such as Al Nasser Hospital and Al Rantisi Hospital, which have suffered substantial damages.
Additionally, the Al Quds Hospital, operated by the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), is struggling to continue its services amidst mounting hostilities. The Al Shifa Medical Complex, Gaza’s largest referral hospital, is already overwhelmed with patients and is now accommodating thousands of displaced families affected by the conflict. Schomburg stressed that any military operations near hospitals must consider the presence of civilians, who are protected under international humanitarian law.
The ICRC urgently appealed for the immediate safeguarding of all civilians, including humanitarian workers and medical personnel, as protection is both a legal obligation and a moral imperative during these distressing times.