In the very heart of the ongoing genocide in Gaza, the healthcare system is one of the key areas that the Zionist state has done exceptionally well to target. In so doing, a lack of medical facilities is exacerbating an already dire situation. As we speak, not a single hospital out of a total of 36 is fully operational in Gaza. 
Indeed, the shortage of medical staff and supplies, coupled with an urgent need for fuel, electricity, and water has created a crisis, the likes of which have not been seen in recent decades.
Not all heroes wear capes, some wear theatre scrubs
Dr. Mohamed Ziara, a plastic surgeon at the European Gaza Hospital (EGH) in Khan Younis, is one of many Palestinian medical professionals who continue to work through unimaginable conditions.
He described during a 23 January interview with the broadcaster Al Jazeera,
“It doesn’t match anything I’ve seen before, even with previous escalations and war. I remember that I was watching TV, and the spokesman of the [Israeli] army was asked twice about the possibility of bombing the hospital, and he replied that everything is possible.” 
An experienced surgeon who has worked through previous Israeli attacks going back to 2014, he has been working 12-14-hour shifts, six days a week.
Many others including paramedics, nurses, and vital support staff such as porters and cleaners have been enduring similar shifts.
Ziara told Al Jazeera that the current state of the health system in Gaza is no less than “catastrophic”. 
Zionist missile struck a hospital courtyard
Among the barrage of attacks against protected sites, the Zionist state’s military has struck the likes of al-Ahli and al-Shifa hospitals, the 12th century Greek Orthodox Saint Porphyrius Church, not to mention numerous mosques and purported “safe zones”. 
As Dr. Ziara says,
“They were shooting at people. They injured many. They shot a missile at the hospital garden and killed about four people staying there who had evacuated or were refugees.
“We never thought that they would reach the hospital and that we’d evacuate patients and the injured.” 
And according to the World Health Organization (WHO), only 15 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are “partially functional”, with six in the north and nine in the south.
Moreover, the humanitarian organisation Insecurity Insight — which gathers data on threats faced by people working and living in dangerous environments — has warned that from 7 October to 24 November, there were 74 Israeli assaults on health facilities, with 30 Gazan hospitals bombed. 
International laws repeatedly broken by Israel
While discussions around a cessation of hostilities continue between both the Zionist state and the occupied Gaza Strip, it is the brazenness of the former’s actions that continue to bring about a feeling of disgust and anger.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has gone even further, characterising attacks on healthcare as direct assaults on the sick and injured. Dr. A. Kayum Ahmed, activist, scholar, and Special Advisor on the Right to Health at HRW, has pushed for a thorough investigation into potential war crimes. 
As Gaza does its best to counter the devastating destruction of its healthcare infrastructure, it is essential that we engage in critical conversations.
Here are three probing questions aimed at prompting reflection and accountability:
- Just how does targeting health services align with Israel’s claimed commitment to international law?
- How does destroying hospitals contribute to the conflict’s objectives, unless one views it as a clear-cut genocide?
- How are media outlets addressing intentional destruction in their coverage, and why is there so little emphasis on this?
Israel is a pariah state
Article 6, Subsection B of the Rome Statute explicitly states that 'causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group' — i.e. part of a, or a whole, community based on nationality, ethnicity, race, or religion — is one of the definitions of genocide.
A little further down in the same international treaty, Article 8, Subsection 2 (b) (ix) makes clear that 'intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not military objectives' constitutes a war crime.
But given that the Zionist state cares not one iota about international law, it is difficult to call out or argue with such an entity. Someone who does not live by principles has no morals and, as such, feels they can do as they please.
It is for this reason that the remainder of the world must awaken to the depravity of the Zionist regime.
Unless world stands united, nothing may change
Just as the US, UK, and Israel provided diplomatic cover to the apartheid state of South Africa, these same nations ultimately (and begrudgingly) withdrew their backing, once the world was on the side of the oppressed.
The key point being that unless and until the world stands united against Israel and its reprehensible actions against places of worship including churches and mosques like Saint Porphyrius and Great Omari, hospitals such as al-Ahli, al-Shifa, Nasser Medical Complex, Kamal Adwan, and dozens of others, the murder of tens of thousands of civilians including mostly women and children, this genocide may not end.
We continue to pray for occupied Gaza, for occupied Palestine, for the divine protection of al-Aqsa, and encourage everyone to support our brothers and sisters during this challenging time.
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- Dr. Ali Muhammad al-Sallabi writes to US and allies on Gaza genocide
- ICC initiates investigation into Israeli war crimes – US strongly opposes
- Islam21c marks International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People