WHO chief: Hospitals are not battlegrounds

The head of the World Health Organization has said that "hospitals are not battlegrounds," calling the Israeli military operation at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza "totally unacceptable."

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva on Wednesday that under international humanitarian law, medical facilities, medical personnel, ambulances and patients must be protected against all acts of war.

Earlier Wednesday, he said the organization has been unable to contact health workers at the hospital.

The WHO says 26 of the 36 hospitals in Gaza have been shut down due to structural damage or loss of fuel, and the total number of hospital beds has plunged from 3,500 to 1,400.

Tedros explained that doctors and nurses are being forced to make impossible choices as to who will live and who will not.

He appealed for a stop to attacks on medical facilities and stressed the need for delivery of relief supplies.