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 © MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images

25th October 2023, 16:05:14 UTC

On 13 October, 23 hospitals in the north of the Gaza Strip and Gaza City received forced evacuation orders from the Israeli army. Since then, hospitals continue to receive phone calls from the Israeli army pressuring them to comply.

These hospitals provide life-saving treatment for more than 2,000 patients and serve as the sole safe haven for tens of thousands of internally displaced families. Amid the humanitarian catastrophe engulfing the Gaza Strip, these forced evacuation orders are virtually impossible to implement as transferring patients across destroyed areas and without fuel is an unreasonable prospect. If implemented, these “evacuations” will lead to the complete collapse of Gaza’s healthcare system. They will also constitute, in the words of the World Health Organisation, a “death sentence” against those with serious wounds or illnesses.

The Israeli authorities must rescind these orders and ensure the protection of healthcare facilities as required under international humanitarian law.

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