Doctors at Rafah’s Kuwaiti Hospital fear closure due to supply shortage

RAFAH, Gaza Strip — A doctor at Rafah’s Kuwaiti hospital expressed fear on Thursday that the facility may soon cease operations due to a shortage of medical supplies, as Israel continues its military offensive in the Palestinian enclave.

Dr. Jamal Al Hams at the Kuwaiti hospital said the medical facility is still providing care for the injured and sick, despite the closure of the Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt and the “miserable conditions” under which it is operating.

“I do hope the whole medical team will continue to present its services to the injured people, to the critically ill patients, to the people who have chronic diseases,” said Al Hams.

Around half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have crowded into Rafah after fleeing other parts of the enclave during seven months of war.

Israel’s military says its operation in Rafah aims to eliminate Hamas fighters and dismantle infrastructure used by the group, which governs the blockaded Palestinian territory. Israel accuses Hamas of diverting aid, which Hamas denies.

The Gaza death toll has risen to 35,272, according to health officials in the Hamas-run coastal enclave. Malnutrition is widespread, with international aid efforts blocked by the violence and Israel’s de facto shutdowns of its Kerem Shalom crossing and the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

Israel says it needs to eliminate Hamas for its own protection after the deaths of 1,200 people on Oct. 7, and to free the 128 hostages still held out of 253 abducted by the militants, according to its tallies.