Doctors at hospitals in the Gaza Strip have been working for more than a month in perilous conditions. They have seen Israeli troops fighting Hamas militants right outside their windows. Health authorities say 25 of the 35 hospitals in the enclave have closed.
The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the largest medical center, Al-Shifa Hospital, has gone days without electricity and without water. "Regrettably, the hospital is not functioning as a hospital anymore," he said.
WHO officials said staff could not keep incubators for premature babies running. The workers had to put the babies into beds together, despite the threat of infection.
Members of Doctors Without Borders still in the hospital said they would only leave if the 600 patients are evacuated first. But they said they need a guarantee of a "safe corridor."
Israeli security officials released a video on Monday to support their claims Hamas leaders have taken refuge in some hospitals, an accusation the militants deny. The officials said what they call "terrorists" are firing from al-Quds Hospital in Gaza and are even launching rocket-propelled grenades.
United Nations officials said the conditions make a ceasefire "more urgent than ever." More than 100 UN staff in Gaza have been killed since the start of the conflict, the largest toll of humanitarian workers in UN history. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres led his colleagues on Monday in observing a minute of silence at UN headquarters in New York.