Doctor recounts harrowing shifts working at one of Gaza's last standing hospitals

Dr Tanya Haj-Hassan has been recording her experiences working in intensive care at one of the enclaves few remaining hospitals, Al-Aqsa

In a region marred by conflict and an escalating humanitarian crisis, the gruesome impact of Israel's war on Gaza is felt repeatedly by frontline healthcare workers.

The desperate state of medical care in the Gaza Strip was spelled out by the United Nations on Thursday, as its top court, the International Court of Justice, ordered Israel to do more to ensure the delivery of food, water, fuel and medical supplies.

The UN says two-thirds of Gaza's hospitals are out of action, with Israeli troops surrounding or attacking some of those even now - like the Al Shifa Hospital in the north and the Al-Amal in southern Gaza. In one that is still functioning the Al Aqsa hospital, a Canadian paediatrician, working for a charity, is seeing the deepest of human suffering, in a place regularly buzzed by Israeli drones. Dr Tanya Haj-Hassan has been keeping a video diary. She has shared it with us.

Sharing her harrowing testimony in a series of video messages sent to ITV News, she spoke of how medical staff are on call 24 hours a day managing the floods of patients that are brought through the hospital doors.

"There's a six-year-old girl in the intensive care unit with traumatic brain injury after her home was bombed by Israeli forces," Dr Haj-Hassan said in a video message.

The girl's brother was killed in the strike.

"It just exacerbates this feeling of injustice when the innocence is so evident," she added.

Meanwhile, a ten-year old boy has set up a tent outside the emergency room, his parents are thought to be in the south of the enclave. It is unclear whether they're alive or not.

"He's learned to do every skill in the hospital, so he helps us," Dr Haj-Hassan said of the boy.

"He sees everything but he just seems so used to it. He walks in and sees a man haemorrhaging out of an amputated extremity and he knows exactly what needs to be brought to them."

Dr Haj-Hassan also shared the devastating news that through the night a colleague of hers was brought into the hospital in a critical condition.

The area where his family lived was hit by an airstrike, but when he went to help rescue victims he was struck down himself.

He died after arriving at the hospital, his fiancée at his bedside.

Dr Haj-Hassan says medical staff at the hospital are on-call 24 hours a day. Credit: AP

Hours later, a five-year-old was brought to Al-Aqsa, after he was shot in the head. He passed away shortly after.

"If any of his family survived, we just don't know. You have doctors and nurses holding his hand in the beginning while he was awake and then doctors and nurses praying for him when he died.

"There was no other family there to comfort him, it's just horrifying," Dr Haj-Hassan said through tears.

"You walk away just utterly infuriated, just full of rage that you live in a world where we have governments and officials of society condoning or very actively refusing to stop this genocide."

In a series of video messages, Dr Haj-Hassan spoke of the enormous pressure faced by hospital staff. Credit: ITV News

Dr Haj-Hassan was part of a trip organised by Medical Aid for Palestinians and a team from the International Rescue Committee, comprising of surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and paediatricians.

They worked in Al Aqsa Hospital in Gaza's Middle Area for the past two weeks, supporting the local staff who’ve been working there for the past six months since the conflict began.

After nearly six months of war, Gaza’s health sector has been decimated and according to the UN, two-thirds of hospitals are not functioning.

Either because they ran out of fuel and medicine, were surrounded and raided by Israeli troops, or were damaged in fighting.

Israel declared war after a cross-border attack by Hamas on October 7 in which 1,200 people were killed and 250 others were taken hostage.

A campaign of Israeli airstrikes and a ground offensive have left over 32,000 Palestinians dead, according to local health authorities, who say the toll of injuries has reached 75,000.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…