Reports coming from Gaza City are relaying news of the alarmingly rapid advance of Israeli forces towards the Al Shifa Hospital. Currently, four hospitals have been surrounded by Israeli forces, leading to a shortage of supplies and fuel.
(Status of Gaza’s Medical Facilities)
This is wearing thin the already strained medical apparatus in Gaza city. Medical facilities have been surrounded by tanks and are being monitored by warplanes as well.
Reports suggest that 122,000 Palestinians who are seeking shelter due to the ongoing conflict, as well as the large number of patients housed there, are suffering due Israel’s tactics.
The Al-Rantisi Hospital, Al-Nasr Hospital, the Mental Health Hospital and the Eye Hospital have all been surrounded according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health.
Al-Rantisi alone gives shelter to 1000 people and happens to be the only Hospital in Gaza which is capable of giving advanced treatment to children. Recent reports state that Israel has struck areas and even vehicle outside Al-Rantisi.
Social media flatforms also show videos of people trapped inside who are unsure of whether to evacuate the building or remain inside. Considering the fact that there have been multiple reports of civilians fleeing bombed buildings and getting targeted as enemy combatants, the risks are quite high in such a situation.
Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila, said the following in an official statement, “Israel is turning its back to the international community and maintains its crimes against hospitals, health centres and shelter centres across the Gaza Strip.”
(Al Shifa Hospital)
Al Shifa Hospital happens to be Gaza’s largest medical facility and was subjected to multiple missile strikes. In fact, reports suggest that since Thursday, Israel has bombed the vicinity of the hospital five time.
Margaret Harris, the World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson reiterated these facts, highlighting the plight of civilians caught between the Israeli offensive and the subsequent response from Hamas.
“You can hear a lot of gunshots, and then you know that the tanks are getting near to al-Shifa Hospital” said Dr Ahmed Mokhallalati, a surgeon working at the Al-Shifa Hospital.
Ezudine Lulu, a medical student took to Instagram and said, “It is possible that the entire hospital will be bombed within hours.”
Al Shifa is known as the premier medical establishment in Gaza, with the capacity to treat 700 patients. As of now the hospital is treating 5,000 patients according to Doctors Without Border.