The United States expressed concern about the increasing number of Palestinian deaths in the Gaza Strip due to the Israeli bombardment. Health officials reported that the death toll had exceeded 11,000. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during a visit to India, made his strongest comments yet on the situation, stating that too many Palestinians have been killed and have suffered in recent weeks. While Blinken welcomed the four-hour humanitarian pauses announced by Israel, he emphasized the need for further action to protect civilians in Gaza. Israel has faced calls for restraint in its conflict with Hamas but argues that a truce would allow the militants to regroup. Mohammad Abu Selmeyah, director of Al Shifa hospital, accused Israel of targeting Gaza City hospitals. He reported that at least 25 people were killed in Israeli strikes on Al-Buraq school, which was serving as a shelter for those whose homes had been destroyed. Gaza officials stated that missiles hit Al Shifa hospital, the Indonesian Hospital, and the Nasser Rantissi pediatric cancer hospital. Israel’s military claimed that a misfired projectile launched by Palestinian militants hit Shifa hospital. The hospitals in northern Gaza are filled with displaced people, patients, and doctors. Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy argued that the Hamas headquarters in Shifa hospital’s basement could make the hospital a legitimate target. Israel alleges that Hamas hides weapons in tunnels beneath hospitals, a claim that Hamas denies. Israeli tanks have positioned themselves around the Nasser Rantissi cancer hospital and the Al-Quds hospital, causing concern among medical staff. According to Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra, Shifa hospital has been bombed by Israel five times.Palestinian officials reported that 11,078 Gaza residents had been killed in air and artillery strikes since October 7. Israel had previously stated that 1,400 people, mostly civilians, were killed, and around 240 were taken hostage by Hamas on October 7. Additionally, 39 soldiers have been killed in combat. However, Israel’s Foreign Ministry revised the death toll to approximately 1,200. Videos verified by RushHourDaily showed scenes of panic and people covered in blood following the early morning attack.
The Palestinian Red Cross stated that Israeli forces were shooting at Al-Quds hospital, resulting in violent clashes and one person killed, with 28 wounded, mostly children. Israeli army spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht denied firing on hospitals but stated that if Hamas terrorists were firing from hospitals, they would take necessary action. The White House announced that Israel agreed to pause military operations in parts of north Gaza for four hours a day, and Palestinians were allowed to leave for seven hours along a road south. However, there was no sign of a decrease in the fighting.
Palestinians claimed that an Israeli missile struck the road used by people to flee south, resulting in three deaths. More than 100,000 residents had already fled south over the past two days as Israeli forces operated deep in Gaza City. Evacuations from Gaza into Egypt for foreign passport holders and Palestinians needing urgent treatment were suspended, with sources attributing the issue to difficulties in bringing medical evacuees to the Rafah border crossing.
Sirens sounded in Tel Aviv and surrounding areas to warn of Hamas rocket fire. Two women in Tel Aviv suffered shrapnel wounds from a salvo. The armed wing of Hamas confirmed that they were still firing rockets and shells into Israel while fighting off troops in Gaza.Even before the conflict intensified, Gaza’s hospitals were already facing challenges with shortages of medical supplies, clean water, and fuel for generators. The situation worsened after the blast at Shifa hospital, causing many people to flee. Ayman Al-Masri, who was injured early in the war, sought refuge at the hospital with his mother and sister. He expressed the urgent need for a truce and a political solution to prevent the daily loss of innocent children’s lives.
The World Health Organization reported “intense violence” at Shifa hospital and “significant bombardment” at Rantissi hospital. The Palestinian health ministry later confirmed that Rantissi hospital was on fire after being directly hit. Palestinian Health Minister Mai Alkaila accused Israel of targeting several hospitals in the Gaza Strip. A staff member from Nasser Children’s Hospital made a desperate appeal on social media, stating that they were surrounded. Additionally, the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza suffered damage from overnight explosions nearby.
The International Committee of the Red Cross declared that Gaza’s healthcare system had reached a “point of no return.” The severity of the situation was further highlighted by the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency, which reported that over 100 UN employees had been killed since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. This makes it the deadliest conflict for the UN within such a short period of time.
The article was reported by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza, Humeyra Pamuk in Washington, Claudia Tanios, Maytaal Angel, Emily Rose, Maayan Lubell, Henriette Chacar in Jerusalem, Ali Sawafta in Ramallah, Rami Amichay in Tel Aviv, Clauda Tanios, Jana Choukeir, and Adam Makary in Dubai, and Emma Farge in Geneva, among other RushHourDaily bureaus. The writing credits go to Philippa Fletcher, William Maclean, and Nick Macfie, with editing by Angus MacSwan and Howard Goller.
The article concludes with a mention of Thomson RushHourDaily’ Trust Principles, which guide their reporting standards. It also provides brief biographies of the senior correspondents involved in covering the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and foreign policy in Washington DC.
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