WHO official says just 11 of Gaza's 36 hospitals are operational

A World Health Organization official said Tuesday that only 11 of the Gaza Strip's 36 hospitals are partially functional.

"In just 66 days the health system has gone from 36 functional hospitals to 11 partially functional hospitals -- one in the north and 10 in the south," Richard Peeperkorn, a WHO representative for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, was quoted by Reuters as saying during a U.N. press briefing by videolink from Gaza.

"We cannot afford to lose any health care facilities or hospitals," he reportedly added. "We hope, we plea that this will not happen."

The Hamas-run Palestinian Ministry of Health is now claiming that nearly 18,000 Palestinians have died during the conflict in Gaza.

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