Selangor Journal
Smoke rises above Gaza as seen from southern Israel, December 4, 2023. — Picture by REUTERS

WHO to hold emergency session on Gaza health situation

GENEVA, Dec 4 — The World Health Organisation will hold an extraordinary session of its Executive Board on Dec. 10 to discuss health conditions in Gaza and the West Bank, a document from the U.N. global health agency showed and Palestinian ambassador said.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus convened the session after receiving a request from 14 members of the WHO’s board, the WHO document said. A WHO spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Palestinian ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ibrahim Khraishi said that the meeting would focus mostly on Gaza but also cover attacks on the health sector in the West Bank.

“We want to empower the WHO and call for the Israeli side not to target the medical sector. We want to allow for fresh medical supplies,” he told Reuters, saying that his diplomatic mission was drafting a motion to be reviewed by the 34-member board.

Only a fraction of Gaza’s hospitals are currently operational due to bombings and lack of fuel and those that are still functioning are increasingly overwhelmed by a new wave of wounded arriving.

Israel has accused Hamas of using ordinary Gazans as human shields by placing command centres and weapons inside hospitals and other civilian buildings.

A senior adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday Israel would facilitate the provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza’s civilians as fighting there resumed.

— Reuters

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