ISRAELI airstrikes have killed at least three prominent Gaza doctors in the past 24 hours, journalists and aid workers based in the beseiged enclave have reported.
Among the dead are burns specialist Dr Medhat Saidam, Islamic University dean of medicine Dr Omar Farwaneh and Dr Salah Zanoun in Rafah. All three were killed alongside their families by Israeli strikes on their homes.
Abu Sitta, a colleague of Dr Saidam, confirmed his death to Al-Jazeera and described him as a ‘lovely man’.
Tom Gara, a journalist now working for Facebook parent company Meta, tweeted about Dr Saidam’s death on Saturday, describing it as an “incredibly dark story”.
“A burns doctor at Gaza’s biggest hospital worked the last seven days straight, went home to see his family today and was killed alongside them in an air strike on his house,” he wrote.
Following seven days of continuous Israeli airstrikes, the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip is worsening with each passing hour. Hospitals in the northern part of the besieged enclave have been instructed to prepare for evacuations in anticipation of a potential ground offensive.
Meanwhile, medical facilities across the densely populated region are struggling to cope with the influx of injured individuals and residents seeking shelter.
Medics at the Shifa medical complex in Gaza told Al-Jazeera that they are no longer able to operate beyond life-saving surgeries.
“Supplies have run out, and the medical personnel are also facing severe exhaustion. Many of them have either lost their lives or had their family members killed, while others are focused on ensuring the safety of their own families,” Abu Sitta said.
As the death toll in Gaza surpasses 2,200, hospital morgues are overwhelmed and people are hesitant to conduct burials. To address this crisis, unconventional measures are being taken, including the use of ice-cream trucks as temporary morgues.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has also confirmed the deaths of at least 11 aid workers, some of whom were killed when Israel targetted two school buildings that were serving as shelters for civilians.
The group’s statement noted that among the deceased were five teachers from UNRWA schools, one gynaecologist, one engineer, one psychological counselor, and three support staff. Tragically, some of them lost their lives in their homes alongside their families.
Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2023