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Gaza Strip's health care system completely collapsed — enclave authorities

The Gaza government spokesman Ismail al-Sawabta noted that 23 hospitals in the enclave had ceased to operate as a result of Israeli shelling

DUBAI, December 25. /TASS/. The health care system in the Palestinian Gaza Strip is in a state of collapse, Ismail al-Sawabta, the Gaza government spokesman, said.

"The health sector in Gaza has reached the stage of an actual collapse," he said in an interview with Al Jazeera. "More than 9,000 people have died due to the inability to provide them with medical care," al-Sawabta added. He noted that 23 hospitals in the enclave have ceased to operate as a result of Israeli shelling. On December 21, Richard Peeperkorn, the World Health Organization's (WHO) representative in the occupied Palestinian territories, informed that nine out of 36 hospitals in the Gaza Strip were functioning.

"The [humanitarian] aid that has arrived covers only 2% of the health system's needs," al-Sawabta added. According to him, the Gaza Strip authorities are calling for 1,000 truckloads of aid to be sent to the enclave every day to rebuild the health care system.

Tensions in the Middle East flared up again on October 7 after militants from the radical Palestinian group Hamas launched a surprise incursion into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip, killing residents of border communities and taking people hostage. Israel started carrying out retaliatory strikes on the Palestinian enclave, as well as on certain areas in Lebanon and Syria. On December 1, the Israeli army accused Hamas of violating a ceasefire that had taken effect on November 24 and resumed combat operations in Gaza.