Girl, 12, killed at Gaza hospital weeks after she said, ‘I only want … the war to end’

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(NEW YORK) — A 12-year-old girl has died in an apparent strike at a Gaza hospital weeks after she said in an interview that she only wanted “the war to end.”

A tank shell struck a children’s ward at the Nasser Hospital Complex in Khan Younis on Sunday night, killing Dounia, a 12-year-old who had lost her leg in an airstrike that killed her mother, father, brother and sister.

Dounia recently told Defense for Children International she hoped someone would take her abroad so she could receive a prosthetic leg.

Dounia said in the organization’s video that she wanted to be a doctor when she grew up so she could treat other children such as herself.

“I only want one thing: for the war to end,” she said.

Dounia’s interview was filmed between Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, during the recent temporary cease-fire amid the Israel-Hamas war.

Many people have sought shelter at the Nasser Hospital Complex, and there are now fears the facility may be subject to more attacks. The Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health said the targeting of the complex could bring down the health system in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

The IDF has said it is only targeting Hamas and other militants in Gaza and alleges that Hamas deliberately shelters behind civilians, which the group denies.

Doctors Without Borders and the World Health Organization have said hospitals in central and southern Gaza are at a “breaking point” and struggling to care for the influx of patients. Nasser Hospital, where many patients with trauma and burn injuries go, is facing a never-ending flow of patients and is “now at breaking point,” Doctors Without Borders, or Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), said earlier this month.

The Israel Defense Forces has been asked but has not commented on the recent shelling that took place at the Nasser Hospital Complex at this point.

More than 19,000 people have been killed and over 52,000 others injured in Gaza since the Israel-Hamas war began, according to figures from the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry and Government Media Office. In Israel, more than 1,200 people have been killed and 6,900 others injured since Oct. 7, according to Israeli officials.

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