Life returns to Al Nasser Hospital in Gaza after Israeli sieges made area a graveyard

Babies are being admitted again to Khan Younis complex, as military offensive forces hospitals in Rafah to close

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Al Nasser Hospital in southern Gaza has reopened to patients, just weeks after sieges by Israeli troops turned it into the site of mass graves.

Following intensive work by the Gaza Ministry of Health, the complex in the city of Khan Younis has started to receive patients in the neonatal intensive care unit and other departments, officials said.

The hospital and its patients – some only days old – endured months of hardship, during which it was besieged by Israeli troops. After they left, mass graves with at least 400 bodies were uncovered at the complex in April.

Dr Hatem Dhair, director of the nursery department at Al Nasser Hospital, told The National patients was transferred from Al Helal Al Emirati Maternity Hospital in the southern city of Rafah to Al Nasser.

Al Nasser Hospital was vital because Tal Al Sultan Hospital in Rafah was out of action, amid the Israeli offensive in the city.

“We started work three months ago and are now operating in full capacity, especially, after the Tal Al Sultan hospital went out of service,” said Dr Dhair.

After heavy Israeli bombardment around Tal Al Sultan Hospital, the facility announced it would be closing its doors, as patients were finding it nearly impossible to seek medical help there for security reasons.

Despite at least 10 babies being treated at the NICU at Al Nasser, Dr Dhair said a lot of equipment is still lacking. “Much of the equipment was destroyed – at least seven incubators, some ventilators and a heart monitor,” he said.

On May 13, the Ministry of Health said it had reopened the dialysis department, after weeks of it being out of service.

The National witnessed destruction surrounding the hospital, although the complex itself did not sustain any major damage by Israeli forces.

It is still difficult to tell how many beds the hospital will end up having, as it is still being prepared to receive more patients.

Updated: May 31, 2024, 10:16 AM