Palestinian officials have reported that a baby has died and many patients are at risk due to Israeli fire around Gaza’s largest hospital. In response, Israel claims to have killed a Hamas militant who was preventing the evacuation of another hospital. Israel insists that doctors, patients, and evacuees must leave the hospitals in order to target Hamas gunmen who have allegedly set up command centers in and around them. However, Hamas denies these allegations and medical staff argue that moving patients could result in their deaths. They also claim that Israeli weapons fire makes it dangerous for others to leave the hospitals.
Ahmed al-Mokhallalati, a senior plastic surgeon at Al Shifa hospital, described the situation as a “war zone” and expressed concern about the continuous bombardment. While most of the hospital staff and sheltering individuals have left, there are still 500 patients remaining. The Israeli military denies putting the hospital in danger and asserts that there are clashes between IDF troops and Hamas operatives near the hospital, but no shooting or siege targeting the hospital itself. Colonel Moshe Tetro, head of coordination and liaison at COGAT, stated that he is in constant contact with the hospital’s director and has offered coordination for anyone wishing to leave safely.
Hospital director Mohammad Abu Selmeyah previously stated that the hospital was under attack and the wounded were in a dangerous situation. A patient in intensive care was reported to have been killed by Israeli shelling. Ashraf Al-Qidra, representing the health ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza, claimed that Israeli army snipers on nearby rooftops occasionally fired into the medical complex, restricting people’s movement. The situation remains tense as the hospital continues to face the impact of the conflict.According to a spokesperson for the Gaza Health Ministry, an Israeli airstrike destroyed the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. The hospital had been treating patients with COVID-19 and other medical conditions. The spokesperson stated that the hospital was targeted despite the fact that its coordinates had been provided to Israeli authorities to prevent such attacks. The hospital’s director, Dr. Muawiya Hassanein, confirmed the destruction of the hospital and expressed concern about the impact on patient care. He also reported that one newborn baby had died inside an incubator due to the suspension of operations caused by the lack of fuel.
Residents in Gaza City reported that Israeli troops had been engaged in clashes with Hamas gunmen throughout the night. The clashes occurred in and around the area where the Al-Shifa Hospital is located. The military wing of Hamas ally Islamic Jihad, the Al-Quds Brigades, confirmed the violent clashes in the vicinity of the hospital.
The Al-Nasr neighborhood, where the hospital is situated, is home to several major hospitals. There were concerns about the safety of these hospitals as Israeli troops continued their operations. When asked about the possibility of entering Gaza hospitals, an Israeli military spokesperson stated that the hospitals needed to be evacuated in order to deal with Hamas. The spokesperson accused Hamas of using hospitals as fortified positions.
Hamas denied these allegations and requested the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross to send missions to investigate. They maintained that hospitals were not being used for military purposes. Israel claimed to have killed a Hamas “terrorist” who had prevented the evacuation of another hospital in the north. Palestinian officials confirmed that the hospital was out of service and surrounded by tanks.
The Israeli military stated that the “terrorist” had held approximately 1,000 Gazan residents hostage at the Rantissi Hospital. The individual, identified as Ahmed Siam, was killed along with other militants while hiding in a school. Palestinian officials reported that at least 25 Palestinians had been killed in an Israeli strike at the school, which was being used as a shelter for evacuees.
Israel stated that rockets were still being fired from Gaza into southern Israel. They claimed that Hamas militants had killed around 1,200 people and taken more than 200 hostages in the previous month. However, on Friday, Israel reduced the death toll by 200. Palestinian officials reported that 11,078 Gaza residents had been killed in air and artillery strikes since October 7, with approximately 40% of them being civilians.The lack of electricity at Al Shifa hospital in Gaza is putting vulnerable patients, including babies, at risk, according to Qidra, the Gaza health ministry spokesman. He expressed concern that they may not survive in the coming hours. Meanwhile, at Al-Quds hospital, medical teams were forced to work by torchlight due to the surrounding Israeli tanks and military vehicles. The Palestinian Red Crescent reported intense shooting and the extent of injuries is still unknown.
Israel claimed to have increased the number of areas where they would temporarily cease firing to allow Gazans to move south. They stated that a significant number of people, at least 150,000, had already evacuated in the past three days, with more evacuations occurring during the humanitarian pause in the Jabalya area.
A week ago, a U.S. official reported that between 350,000 and 400,000 people remained in the north of Gaza. In Saudi Arabia, Muslim and Arab countries gathered for a joint Islamic-Arab summit and called for an immediate end to military operations in Gaza. They held Israel responsible for the “crimes” committed against Palestinians.
The article was reported by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza and Maytaal Angel in Jerusalem, with additional contributions from various RushHourDaily bureaux. It was written by Matt Spetalnick and Philippa Fletcher, and edited by Grant McCool, Simon Cameron-Moore, William Maclean, and Giles Elgood.
The Thomson RushHourDaily Trust Principles apply to this article.
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