In an unfortunate incident that took place in the northern Gaza Strip, five premature infants lost their lives and their bodies decomposed. The International Red Cross issued a statement clarifying that its teams had no commitment to participating in the evacuation of hospitals in the region. The tragic event and the Red Cross's response bring to light the dire circumstances in conflict-affected regions and the role of humanitarian organizations therein.
The Unseen Tragedy
The decomposed bodies of the five infants were discovered by journalists from Emirati TV channel Al-Mashhad in al-Nasr Hospital, a bombed-out health facility in the Gaza Strip. These children were not among those evacuated after Israeli forces ordered patients and staff to leave on 10 November. Mustafa al-Kahlot, the hospital director, had sent appeals to aid groups, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, but received no response.
Accountability and Criticism
The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor has called for the Israeli army to be held accountable for these unfortunate deaths. The rights group also criticized the Red Cross for failing to help despite aiding the evacuations from the hospital. The World Health Organisation (WHO) also expressed its concern, urging the protection of health infrastructure inside Gaza from further fighting.
Healthcare Crisis Amid Conflict
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general, reported that only 15 of Gaza's 36 hospitals were still functioning and were completely overwhelmed. The agency has noted a staggering increase in cases of diarrhoea especially among infants and children. The death of the infants and the healthcare crisis serve as a stark reminder of the terrifying stakes of the conflict and the urgent need for humanitarian intervention.