The Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza, amongst other medical institutions, has been the target of the Israeli ground offensive in recent days. Harrowing reports of those taking shelter, as well as patients, have been coming from Al Shifa.
The latest reports suggest that not only is the hospital surrounded by troops and tanks but has now also come under the watchful eye of Israeli snipers.
Update on Al Shifa Hospital
The WHO gave an update on the status of the hospital, after receiving a report from the Gaza Ministry of Health. The update, which was received on November 12th highlights the difficulties being faced by those in the hospital.
Currently the Al Shifa hospital is said to be treating 600 to 650 patients, who are being tended to by 200 to 500 medical personnel.
There are also 1500 displaced citizens who have been taking shelter at Al Shifa Hospital. Sadly, they have now been trapped in the compound due to Israel’s siege.
According to the message received from Al Shifa Hospital, “There is no safe passage out of the hospital.”
Two Air Strikes in Southern Gaza
Reports from Wafa, South Gaza state that 11 people, including women and children have lost their lives due to two air strikes launched by Israel at the residence of the Al Raqab family in Bani Suhaila, east of Khan Younis.
Sources have also said that the bodies of the deceased have been taken to the Gaza European Hospital.
The house of the Al Zoghbi family, which is in close proximity to the hospital in Southern Gaza, was also bombarded, leading to the death of two people.
Snipers target Al Shifa Hospital
Sources in the region have confirmed in a report received at 1 am on Monday that Israeli snipers have surrounded the Al Shifa Hospital and have fired shots at anyone seen in the vicinity of the compound. Due to this, many people who were seeking shelter in the hospital have now been trapped inside as there is no safe passage for them to escape.
Israeli forces have cut the supply of food, water and electricity following the siege, putting thousands of people inside the compound in distress.
In a strange turn of events, Hamas has denied refusing 300 liters of fuel supplied by Israel for the continued functioning of the Al Shifa Hospital.
Al Quds Hospital Ceases Operations due to Fuel Shortages
The second largest medical facility in Gaza, the Al Quds Hospital has been besieged and bombed by Israeli forces incessantly in the last few days. Due to these difficulties, as well as a shortage of fuel, the hospital has now ceased operations as it cannot sustain the flow of patients anymore.
This has put other operational medical facilities in the region under immense stress as they are likely to have more patients walking through their doors. Furthermore, it has put many of the patients in the hospital and those seeking shelter there at risk.
Hospital representatives have stated that the compound has been surrounded by tanks and snipers, which could lead to the deaths of hundreds of wounded patients inside the hospital premises.
Counter narratives given Israel and Hamas
The Hamas backed Gaza Ministry of Health has stated that roughly 2300 people are still trapped inside the Al Shifa Hospital, including new born and prematurely born babies who are being kept in surgical theatres for safety.
It has also been stated that the lack of incubators at the hospital has led to the death of 3 out of the 39 total infants at the hospital. The babies that survive are at the risk of losing their lives as well.
Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF) chief spokesman, offered Israel’s assistance on Saturday. He suggested that Israel could help evacuate the babies trapped inside and take them to a “safer hospital”.
The evacuation has not been carried out yet and hospital staff has said that moving the infants would require sophisticated equipment. Another issue is that there are apparently no other “safer hospitals” in Gaza as most of the recognized medical facilities have come under attack or have been besieged.