Emergency medical personnel who volunteered to work at the European hospital near Khan Younis tell FRANCE 24 of the dire conditions at one of Gaza’s last functioning medical facilities, where overwhelmed staff grapple with an acute shortage of medicine and have to make agonising choices over which critically injured patients to treat.
Doctor Raphaël Pitti and nurse Imane Maarifi returned to France on February 6 after a gruelling 16-day stint at the overcrowded European hospital in southern Gaza, where thousands of displaced people have joined the injured and sick, seeking shelter and safety.
Their account offers rare insight into the plight of the Palestinian enclave – a mostly no-go zone for the international media – much of which has been reduced to rubble after four months of devastating bombings and ground fighting.
In the opening stages of the Israel-Hamas war, Khan Younis witnessed an influx of tens of thousands of people fleeing the fighting in the enclave’s north. But in recent weeks, the southern city has itself become the focus of fierce clashes, leaving displaced Gazans at the mercy of daily bombardment.
According to the medics, some 25,000 people are currently amassed around the hospital near Khan Younis and around 6,000 are crammed inside the facility. More arrive each day, hoping to find shelter or treatment.
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