Israel Palestine Conflict

Harsh realities of life in war-torn Gaza shared by MSF American nurse

There were children with fresh open burns and wounds and partial amputations that were just walking around in these conditions, the American nurse says

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An American nurse with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), who recently returned from war-torn Gaza, has shared the grim realities of life under siege during the recent Israeli bombardment.

In an interview with CNN, Emily Callahan detailed the distressing scenes of children with burns all over their bodies as well as the chaotic evacuation of patients from overwhelmed hospitals to under-resourced refugee camps.

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“Because the hospitals are so overwhelmed, [patients] are being discharged immediately after [treatment],” she told CNN, adding that children were then sent to refugee camps with no access to necessities like running water.

Callahan highlighted the dire conditions at UNRWA-run Khan Younis Training Centre, citing severe water and sanitation shortages for more than 22,000 displaced people in cramped quarters.

Palestinians search for casualties a day after Israeli strikes on houses in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, November 1, 2023. (Reuters)
Palestinians search for casualties a day after Israeli strikes on houses in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, November 1, 2023. (Reuters)

“They are given two hours of water every 12 hours,” she continued, adding, “there were only four toilets” at the Khan Younis Training Centre in southern Gaza for the thousands sheltering there.

“There were children with fresh open burns and wounds and partial amputations that were just walking around in these conditions,” Callahan added.

“Parents are bringing their children to us going, ‘please can you help? Please can you help?’ and we have no supplies,” she said.

Palestinians, who fled their houses due to Israeli strikes, gather to get their share of charity food offered by volunteers, amid food shortages, at a UN-run school where they take refuge, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, October 23, 2023. (Reuters)
Palestinians, who fled their houses due to Israeli strikes, gather to get their share of charity food offered by volunteers, amid food shortages, at a UN-run school where they take refuge, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, October 23, 2023. (Reuters)

According to Reuters, UN Humanitarian Office (OCHA) spokesperson Jens Laerke has said that Gaza services are close to “breaking point” without fuel supplies, adding that none of the 569 aid trucks that had reached the enclave so far were carrying fuel.

Several major hospitals have either gone out of service or are close to shutting down due to the lack of fuel for power generators.

A Palestinian girl cancer patient lies on a bed in the cancer unit at Rantisi hospital, which according to doctors, is running out of supplies, putting dozens of patients at risk, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Gaza City November 7, 2023. (Reuters)
A Palestinian girl cancer patient lies on a bed in the cancer unit at Rantisi hospital, which according to doctors, is running out of supplies, putting dozens of patients at risk, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Gaza City November 7, 2023. (Reuters)

There have been several calls for a humanitarian pause or a ceasefire to allow aid safely in.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the Gaza crisis is not only affecting the enclave but is “a crisis of humanity.”

“The parties to the conflict and, indeed, the international community face an immediate and fundamental responsibility: to stop this inhuman collective suffering and dramatically expand humanitarian aid to Gaza,” Guterres said.

He continued: “The nightmare in Gaza is more than a humanitarian crisis. It is a crisis of humanity.”

Several UN organizations continue to warn about the imminent threat of a public health crisis as more health facilities are closing down according to the World Health Organization Spokesperson Christian Lindmeier.

A Palestinian woman holds a child wounded in an Israeli strike, at Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City, November 7, 2023. (Reuters)
A Palestinian woman holds a child wounded in an Israeli strike, at Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City, November 7, 2023. (Reuters)

According to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza, 10,222 people, including more than 4,000 children, have been killed since Israel launched its retaliatory strikes on Gaza.

Read more:

Over 80 humanitarian trucks entered Gaza in past 24 hours: White House

Red Cross says humanitarian convoy came under fire in Gaza City

Italy to send hospital ship near Gaza coast: Defense minister

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