Gaza’s biggest hospital ‘inoperative’ amid Israeli attack

  • Recent Developments:
  • Indonesia’s president says the world is “helpless” when faced with the suffering of Palestinians
  • President Joko Widodo called for a ceasefire ahead of his meeting with Biden

Gaza/Jerusalem, Nov. 13 (Reuters) – Gaza’s largest hospital has shut down and the death toll is rising, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday. Restricted piece.

Hospitals in the north of the Palestinian territory, including the al-Shifa compound, have been besieged by Israeli forces and are unable to care for those inside, with three newborns dead and the risk of power outages amid heavy fighting nearby, medical workers say. .

Israel says it is targeting Palestinian Hamas militants who carried out deadly attacks in southern Israel on October 7.

WHO was able to speak to health experts in Al-Shifa, who described the situation as “dire and dangerous” with continued gunfire and bombings, worsening an already critical situation, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“Unfortunately, the number of patient deaths has increased significantly,” he said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, adding that Al-Shifa “is no longer functioning as a hospital”.

Tedros joined other top United Nations officials in calling for an immediate ceasefire.

“The world cannot remain silent when hospitals that should be safe havens are turned into scenes of death, destruction and despair,” he said.

The president of Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, also called for a ceasefire ahead of a meeting with US President Joe Biden in Washington on Monday.

“The ceasefire must be implemented soon, we must also speed up and increase the level of humanitarian aid, and we must start peace talks,” President Joko Widodo said in a video recorded after attending the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Riyadh

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He said the world was “helpless” in the face of the suffering of the Palestinians. An extraordinary Islamic-Arab summit urged the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Palestinian territories.

Israel says it is trying to free more than 200 hostages taken by Hamas militants on October 7 and says it wants to evacuate hospitals.

The European Union condemned Hamas for using “hospitals and civilians as human shields” in Gaza, while urging Israel to show “maximum restraint” to protect civilians.

“These hostilities are seriously affecting hospitals and taking a terrible toll on civilians and medical staff,” EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell said in a statement released on Sunday on behalf of the bloc of 27 nations.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Hamas was using hospitals and other civilian facilities to house fighters and weapons, which he said violated the laws of war.

“The United States does not want to see gunfights in hospitals where innocent people, patients receiving medical care, are caught in the crossfire, and we have been actively consulting with the Israeli security forces about this,” Sullivan told CBS News.

Israel declared war on Hamas more than a month ago after the militants killed about 1,200 people in southern Israel, according to Israeli officials.

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Palestinian officials said on Friday that 11,078 Gaza residents had been killed in air and artillery strikes, 40% of them children.

Israel’s military response has sparked outrage in cities around the world, where hundreds of thousands of people have staged protests demanding a ceasefire.

Israel’s supporters, including Washington, say the ceasefire will allow Hamas to prepare for further attacks, but the Biden administration has pushed Israel to pause the fighting to allow civilians to flee and enter.

Speaking Sunday with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani about developments in Gaza, Biden agreed that all hostages held by Hamas must be freed “without further delay,” the White House said in a statement.

The conflict has raised fears of a wider outbreak. Lebanon-based Hezbollah, backed by Iran like Hamas, has traded missile strikes with Israel, and other Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria have launched at least 40 separate drone and rocket attacks on U.S. forces.

The United States carried out two airstrikes in Syria against Iran-aligned groups on Sunday, a US defense official told Reuters, in what appeared to be the latest retaliation for the attacks.

Children at risk

Israel’s military offered to evacuate the newborns and placed 300 liters of fuel at the entrance to al-Shifa on Saturday night, but Hamas said both gestures were blocked.

Hamas denied denying the fuel, saying the hospital was under the authority of Gaza’s health ministry, adding that the amount of fuel provided by Israel was “not enough to run the (hospital’s) generators for more than half an hour”.

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Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qitra said three of the 45 babies in incubators in al-Shifa have already died.

A plastic surgeon in al-Shifa bombed the building’s residential incubators, forcing staff to line up premature babies in ordinary beds, using low power and running the air conditioning hot.

“We expect to lose more of them day by day,” said Dr. Ahmed El Mogalladi.

The Palestinian Red Cross said al-Quds, the Strip’s second-largest hospital, was also out of service, with staff struggling to care for those already short on medicine, food and water.

“For the last six to seven days the Al Quds hospital has been cut off from the world. There is no way in, no exit,” said Tommaso Della Longa, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza, Dan Williams in Jerusalem; Additional reporting by Adam Makari, Ahmed Dolba, Sabine Seibold and Andrea Shalal; Written by Simon Lewis and Michael Perry; Editing by Diane Croft and Mirel Fahmy

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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A veteran reporter with nearly 25 years of experience covering the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, including several wars and the signing of the first historic peace agreement between the two sides.

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