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Gaza Death Toll Approaches 16,000 as Israel Intensifies Attacks and Lays Siege to Hospitals

HeadlineDec 05, 2023

The World Health Organization says the situation in Gaza is “worsening by the hour,” as Israel’s military lays siege to hospitals and intensifies its assault on areas it previously ordered civilians to flee to. The death toll from the Israeli bombardment is approaching 16,000 — with thousands more believed to be trapped under the rubble.

Twenty-six of Gaza’s 35 hospitals are now out of service. In the north, Israeli tanks encircled Kamal Adwan Hospital and began shelling the medical complex. Doctors there say Israeli snipers are firing on anyone attempting to leave. Images from the hospital’s courtyard show bodies swaddled in white sheets lined up in rows, after medical staff were unable to bury the dead.

In southern Gaza, an intense Israeli assault on the city of Khan Younis has left hospitals overrun. This is Ibrahim Esbeitan, whose 2-month-old son was injured in an Israeli airstrike Monday. 

Ibrahim Esbeitan: “They told us to leave Gaza City. There’s a war in Gaza. So we left the north and came here to the south, just like they asked. But this is what we found in the south. What can we do? This is my son. He was born on the second day of the war, and we haven’t been able to register his birth yet.”

As he spoke, Ibrihim Esbeitan gestured to his infant son, who lay motionless while medical workers connected him to an oxygen supply. The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has called Gaza the “most dangerous place in the world to be a child.”

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