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Statements and speeches Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

UN Human Rights concerned by pattern of Israeli raids on Gaza medical facilities

15 February 2024

Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Nasser Hospital to receive medical treatment following Israeli attacks in Khan Yunis, Gaza on January 22, 2024. (Photo by Belal Khaled / ANADOLU / Anadolu via AFP)

Delivered by

UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani



We are deeply worried by the reports that Israeli forces have today raided the Nasser Medical Complex in the south of the occupied Gaza Strip, less than a week after they raided Al Amal Hospital in western Khan Younis.

The raid comes after a week-long siege which cut off medical, food and fuel supplies.

Israeli forces reportedly ordered the transfer of all patients, including those in intensive care and nursery units, to a different building, exposing patients to grave risks, including the risk of death for the most vulnerable. There are unconfirmed reports of detention as well as targeting of those trying to leave the hospital.

The raid appears to be part of a pattern of attacks by Israeli forces striking essential life-saving civilian infrastructure in Gaza, especially hospitals. Our Office has documented similar raids in Gaza City, North Gaza, Middle Gaza and in Khan Younis, with serious consequences for the safety of patients, medical and other staff, as well as civilians sheltering in these facilities.

With nearly 70,000 people reportedly injured during this conflict, and a nearly collapsed health system due to attacks on facilities and restrictions on essential humanitarian supplies, the impact on civilians is appalling.

Medical facilities are protected infrastructure under international humanitarian law. They are entitled to special protection and must not be the object of attack nor be used outside their humanitarian function for acts harmful to the enemy. Even if Israel contends that a medical facility has lost its protection as a result of being used for acts harmful to the Israeli forces, it must nevertheless comply with the principles of precautions and proportionality. Furthermore, Israel, as the occupying power, has the duty to ensure and maintain medical facilities and services in all of the occupied territory, including the Gaza Strip.

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