Israel-Palestine: The health of Gaza

Experts assess the extent of the damage to Gaza’s health system and the post-conflict implications.

Research event, Panel Recording
16 April 2024 — 3:00PM TO 4:00PM

Event video

Experts assess the extent of the damage to Gaza’s health system and the post-conflict implications.

Six months on from the 7 October Hamas attacks, Israel’s military offensive in Gaza has left many Palestinian civilians in dire need of urgent medical attention. With continuing strikes on the Rafah crossing stopping the delivery of essential medical aid, the health system in the Strip has been crippled with no capacity to respond to the immense demand from the growing number of injured people desperately seeking medical attention. Worsening food insecurity continues to further endanger Gazan’s health and add pressure to the health system. In February 2024, senior UN officials warned of imminent famine in the strip if the current situation continues.

There is the additional cost beyond the war’s victims. With food, water, medicine, treatment and care prevented from reaching the vulnerable and sick, thousands are struggling on a daily basis to survive. As the health system collapses, outbreaks of disease are far more likely. Mass displacement of civilians will add to the risk of transmission. The health of Gaza, already consigned to years of blockade, poverty and struggle, is on the brink.

Post-conflict, it is unclear how the devastated healthcare infrastructure can be rebuilt. Without a post-conflict plan for Gaza’s health system, millions of people, trapped within a 365 km2 area, are likely to face years of hardship in the aftermath.

Experts will discuss:

  • What is the current state of the Gaza health care system six months into the conflict?
  • What are the most pressing medical needs at the moment?
  • How is medical aid getting into the country and what are the challenges?
  • How can regional and international actors help support Gaza’s public health system after a cessation of hostilities?

This event is part of Chatham House’s ongoing work focusing on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

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