Caught in the line of fire, are the hospitals and medical facilities in Gaza. As Israel rages war against Hamas militants, in a bid to annihilate the outfit and its set-ups in Gaza, the hospitals take the toll. Gaza’s largest medical facility; the Al-Shifa Hospital is said to become the largest cemetery in the city as thousands are believed to be trapped inside.
Due to battle raging in the vicinity, thousands of Gaza’s residents are believed to be trapped in the hospital. Other medical facilities in the city are reportedly lacking supplies and power owing to the intense fighting. Israel, on the other hand, says it is not targeting hospitals directly but clashes took place around Al-Shifa and other medical facilities in the city.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that since the war began on October 7, 2023 a total of 36 health facilities including 22 hospitals have been damaged. WHO further added that merely a handful are now still operational. Gaza City’s largest medical facility, the Al-Shifa Hospital has ceased to function, WH confirmed on Saturday, November 11. The situation inside the hospital is “dire and perilous”, WHO declared. Israel, claims that the Hamas militants operate in tunnels underneath the hospital – a claim denied by Hamas.
Reports are emerging that there is no food for those trapped inside and no fuel to run the generators inside the AL-Shifa Hospital. However, a few critical systems are being powered by Solar energy. The Doctors Without Borders charity says that there has been a communication blackout as the charity cannot contact its members inside Gaza City.
The Health Ministry run by Hamas, claims that there are at least 2,300 people trapped inside the Al-Shifa Hospital. Some 200-500 are the hospital’s staff members while 650 patients and around 1,500 people sought shelter in the hospital. There are also newborn babies kept in a surgical theatre, the ministry claims. Staff claims that three of 39 infants in their hospital died over the weekend due to lack of incubators. The surviving babies were at serious risk of death, according to doctors.
Countering the issue the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF) chief spokesman, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, said on Saturday that Israel would provide assistance to evacuate the babies to a “safer hospital”. Nonetheless, the evacuation had yet to happen as of Monday, November, 13.