The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has issued a stark warning that hospitals in Gaza are at risk of turning into morgues due to a lack of electricity. Gaza’s sole power plant ran out of fuel, and backup generators are also at risk of failing. Medical facilities are overwhelmed after Israeli airstrikes and artillery attacks, leading to a dire situation.
The ICRC’s director for the region, Fabrizio Carboni, highlighted the critical situation, stating that the loss of electricity endangers the functioning of hospitals, including life-saving equipment for newborns, oxygen for elderly patients, kidney dialysis, and X-rays. While hospitals are currently relying on generators, their fuel supplies are limited, potentially lasting only a few hours.
The long queues outside hospitals, lack of essential medical supplies, and a surge of injured patients are creating an immense strain on Gaza’s healthcare system. People are seeking refuge in hospitals to escape the ongoing air raids and violence.
Dr. Justin Dalby, who has been working with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Gaza, described the constant violence and the severe impact of cutting off electricity to hospitals, including the loss of essential medical services and equipment. He highlighted the severe implications for patients, particularly those in critical conditions, as well as for healthcare professionals.
In response to Hamas’s abduction of around 150 Israelis during its attacks on southern Israel, Israel has pledged not to restore electricity or allow the entry of basic resources and humanitarian aid until the hostages are released. This has created an untenable situation for Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure.
Israel had previously halted supplies to the Gaza Strip after the Hamas attacks over the weekend. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, over 1,300 people have been killed in Gaza, and more than 5,300 have been injured since Israel’s air strikes began. The UN agency for Palestinian refugees reports that over 338,000 people have been displaced, with many seeking shelter in hospitals and UN schools.
The ICRC’s Fabrizio Carboni called for an end to the suffering of civilians and urged both sides to reduce the human misery caused by the ongoing escalation.