UNITED NATIONS, Nov 10 (Reuters) – A child is killed on average every 10 minutes in the Gaza Strip, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the U.N. Security Council on Friday, adding: “No one is safe anywhere. No,” he warned. . ”
He said half of Gaza’s 36 hospitals and two-thirds of its primary health centers were not functioning, and those that were operating were far beyond their capacity, leaving the health system in “a state of collapse”. He said that there is.
Tedros told the 15-member council: “Hospital corridors are packed with the injured, sick and dying. Morgues are overflowing. Operations without anesthesia. Tens of thousands of displaced people have taken refuge in hospitals. “I’m doing it,” he said.
Israel has vowed to wipe out Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, after militants said they killed around 1,200 people and took more than 240 hostages in an attack in southern Israel on October 7. . Israel attacked Gaza, an enclave of 2.3 million people, from the air, besieged it, and launched a ground invasion.
“On average, a child is killed every 10 minutes in Gaza,” Tedros said.
Tedros said that since October 7, the WHO has confirmed more than 250 medical attacks in Gaza and the West Bank, while there have been 25 medical attacks in Israel. Israel claims Hamas is hiding weapons in tunnels beneath the hospital, a charge Hamas denies.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan told the Security Council that Israel had created a special committee to establish a hospital in southern Gaza. On October 12, Israel ordered some 1.1 million people in the Gaza Strip to move south ahead of a ground invasion.
“Israel is in talks with the United Arab Emirates, the ICRC and other European countries regarding the establishment of field hospital ships and floating hospital ships,” Erdan said. “Israel facilitated Jordan’s airlift of medical aid to hospitals in northern Gaza.”
“Unfortunately, Israel is doing far more for the well-being of Gazans than the WHO and other UN agencies,” he said.
U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Robert Wood said the United States is working to provide fuel to hospitals in the Gaza Strip, stressing that civilian and humanitarian facilities must be respected and protected under international law.
Wood said Hamas was using civilians as human shields.
“These despicable tactics do not diminish Israel’s responsibility to distinguish between civilians and terrorists in the fight against Hamas,” he said. “When planning operations, the risk of harm to civilians at sites used by Hamas for military purposes must absolutely be taken into account.”
The Security Council opened its meeting with a moment of silence in memory of the 101 civilians and personnel of the United Nations Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA) killed in Israel and Gaza.
Tedros recalled growing up during the war in Ethiopia and said he understood what children in Gaza were going through.
“The sound of gunshots and shells whistling through the air, the smell of smoke after shots were fired, the tracers in the night sky, the fear, the pain, the sense of loss, these things have been with me all my life,” he said. Told.
Reporting: Michelle Nichols, Editing: Rosalba O’Brien
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