5, December, 2023
HomeWorldIsraeli Tanks Surround Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital, Medical Crisis Escalates

Israeli Tanks Surround Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital, Medical Crisis Escalates

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Israeli forces have reached the gates of Gaza City’s main hospital, Al-Shifa, which is the primary target in their battle to seize control of the northern half of the Gaza Strip. The situation is dire, with medics reporting that patients, including newborn babies, are dying due to the lack of fuel and the ongoing siege.

Read Also | Humanitarian Crisis Unfolds as Israeli Troops Approach Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital

Inside Al-Shifa hospital, Gaza’s health ministry spokesperson, Ashraf Al-Qidra, revealed that 32 patients have died in the past three days, including three newborns. The lack of fuel for electricity generators has left the hospital unable to function effectively. The situation is critical, with at least 650 patients still inside, desperately awaiting evacuation by neutral agencies such as the Red Cross.

Israel’s claims that the hospital houses a Hamas headquarters in underground tunnels and accuses Hamas of using patients as shields. These allegations are strongly denied by Hamas.

Dr. Ahmed El Mokhallalati, a surgeon at the hospital, described the dire circumstances, stating, “The tanks are in front of the hospital. We are under full blockade. It’s a totally civilian area. Only hospital facility, hospital patients, doctors, and other civilians are staying in the hospital. Someone should stop this. They bombed the water tanks, they bombed the water wells, they bombed the oxygen pump as well. They bombed everything in the hospital. So we are hardly surviving. We tell everyone, the hospital is no more a safe place for treating patients. We are harming patients by keeping them here.”

Israel has called on civilians to leave and medics to send patients elsewhere. However, many hospitals and clinics in Gaza have been forced to shut down or are operating at full capacity with dwindling supplies. Meanwhile, Israeli forces have surrounded Al-Shifa hospital, making any evacuation efforts challenging.

Efforts to deliver fuel to the hospital have been hampered. Israel claimed to have left 300 liters of fuel to power emergency generators at the hospital entrance, but this offer was reportedly blocked by Hamas. Gaza health ministry spokesperson Al-Qidra emphasized that 300 liters of fuel would only power the hospital for half an hour, whereas Al-Shifa requires 8,000-10,000 liters of fuel per day. International aid agencies must step in to ensure the hospital’s operations continue.

The situation in Gaza has resulted in tragic consequences, with newborns sharing incubators and patients struggling to receive adequate care. Premature babies are now being crowded together, which endangers their lives. Dr. El Mokhallalati reported that after three premature babies died, 36 more remained in the neonatal unit, and more casualties are expected daily.

The conflict in Gaza has deeply divided the international community. While Israel insists on its campaign to eliminate Hamas, many countries argue that the Israeli response has led to a high number of civilian casualties in a densely populated and besieged territory. As the conflict continues, efforts to protect civilians are crucial, and international pressure is mounting on Israel to consider a ceasefire.

Read Also | Crisis at Al-Shifa Hospital: Newborns’ Lives Hang in the Balance Amid Gaza Conflict

The United States, while supporting Israel’s right to self-defense, is also urging its ally to ensure the safety of civilians and avoid violence within hospitals. The situation in Gaza is a humanitarian crisis, and the world is watching closely, hoping for a swift resolution.

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