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WHO 'deeply concerned' about situation in and around Gaza's Nasser hospital

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday that it was deeply concerned about the situation in and around the Nasser hospital in Gaza, which has been surrounded by Israeli forces.

"We’re deeply concerned about the safety of patients and health personnel due to the intensifying hostilities in the vicinity of the hospital. We repeat: health MUST be protected at all times," Tedros Ghebreyesus said on X, reiterating his call for a cease-fire.

The Israeli army has slapped a siege around the Nasser Medical Complex in the city of Khan Younis since Jan. 22 as part of its military offensive in the south.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since the Oct. 7 cross-border attack by Hamas, which Tel Aviv says killed 1,200 people. Besides killing more than 28,000 people, the offensive has left 85% of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine.

In late 2023 South Africa filed a case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), accusing Israel of failing to uphold its commitments under the 1948 Genocide Convention.

The UN court, in its interim ruling in January, ruled that South Africa’s claims are plausible. It ordered provisional measures for Israel’s government to desist from genocidal acts, and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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