| 16 July 2024, Tuesday |

Operations suspended in Al Shifa hospital – Gaza health ministry Previous

The spokesperson for the Gaza health ministry reported that operations at the Al Shifa hospital complex, the largest in the enclave, were halted on Saturday due to a fuel shortage.
“As a result, one newborn baby died inside the incubator, where there are 45 babies,” Ashraf Al-Qidra, the spokesman for the Health Ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza told Reuters.

Israel faced growing calls Saturday to protect civilians in Gaza as its battle with Hamas encircled the territory’s main hospital, where an aid agency described the situation as “catastrophic.”
Thunder-like sound of explosions rang through the night in heavy fighting between Hamas and Israeli forces near Gaza’s biggest hospital, Al-Shifa, AFP correspondents at the scene said.
The Hamas government and the hospital’s director said a strike on the key health facility on Friday killed 13 people. They accused Israel of being responsible — a claim that was impossible to verify.
“We call on all international and Arab parties to immediately intervene to stop the targeting of hospitals in Gaza,” said a spokesman for the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, Ahsraf Al-Qudra.

Aid agency says sitution is “catastrophic”
Aid agency Doctors Without Borders said it was “extremely concerned” about the safety of patients and medical staff at Al-Shifa hospital.
“Over the last few hours, the attacks against Al-Shifa Hospital have dramatically intensified,” it said in a statement posted online on Saturday morning.
“Our staff at the hospital have reported a catastrophic situation inside just a few hours ago.”
Maher Sharif, a nurse heading to the Al-Shifa hospital when it was struck on Friday, described how people threw themselves to the ground.
“I saw dead bodies, including women and children,” she said, according to a statement by Doctors Without Borders.
“The scene was horrific.”
Gaza resident Hanane told AFP his daughter was being treated at Al-Shifa after being wounded as she queued outside a bakery. She “starts shaking” with each explosion, he said.
Many people have taken refuge in the hospital grounds. AFP journalists saw people in beds lined up along a corridor. Some cooked meals with gas cannister stoves and ate while sitting on the floor.
Twenty of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are “no longer functioning,” the UN’s humanitarian agency said.

Israel denies attacking hospitals
Israel has denied targeting hospitals and its army has accused Hamas of using the medical facilities as command centers and hideouts, a charge the Palestinian militant group denies.
Israeli forces would “kill” Hamas militants if they saw them “firing from hospitals,” however, military spokesman Richard Hecht said.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Israel had the right to defend itself after the last month’s Hamas attacks.
Hamas fighters smashed through the border on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking 239 people hostage, according to updated Israeli figures.
But Macron told the BBC that civilians were dying as a result of Israel’s air and expanding ground campaign.
“These babies, these ladies, these old people are bombed and killed,” the French leader said. “So there is no reason for that and no legitimacy. So we do urge Israel to stop.”
The Gaza health ministry says Israeli fighting has killed more than 11,000 people, mostly civilians and many of them children, figures that cannot be independently verified.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also expressed concern over the civilian toll.
“Far too many Palestinians have been killed,” he said during a visit to New Delhi on Friday.
Blinken repeated his support for Israel and welcomed “progress” after the country formally agreed to four-hour pauses in its campaign in parts of Gaza where tens of thousands have fled in search of safety.
“I was also very clear that much more needs to be done in terms of protecting civilians and getting humanitarian assistance to them,” Blinken said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in response to Macron’s comments that Hamas, not Israel, was to blame for the civilian deaths.
Netanyahu repeated that Israel was trying to avoid harming civilians but that Hamas was preventing them from moving to safe areas and using them as “human shields” — a charge Hamas denies.

  • Arab News