Medical centers in the sights of the Israeli army. The Palestinian Red Crescent reported a “violent attack” on Thursday led by Israeli tanks who are “besieging” the Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza, while the Israeli army has been tightening its grip on the city for several days and more particularly its hospitals.
“The rescue teams are unable to move and therefore to reach the injured,” adds the Red Crescent which manages this hospital. “Ahli is no longer able to perform surgeries and has become a mere aid station,” surgeon Ghan Abu Sitta wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Hundreds of injured people are now in hospital without being able to undergo surgery. They will die from their wounds.”
No longer able to provide surgeries at Ahli Hosp. The hospital is now effectively a first aid station. Hundreds of wounded now at hospital with no access to surgery. They will die from their wounds
— Ghan Abu Sitta (@GhanAbuSitt1) November 16, 2023
This Palestinian-British surgeon who himself operated on Thursday in Ahli Arab affirmed a few hours earlier that only patients in danger of death were admitted to only one of the two operating theaters. Of the 24 hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip, Ahli Arab is the only one “currently operational and admitting patients” according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha), which indicates that five other hospitals are operating adequately. very “limited”, without being able to accommodate new patients.
“Eighteen hospitals have been closed and evacuated since the start of hostilities, including three – al-Nasr, al-Rantissi and al-Quds – in the last three days,” OCHA said. On October 17, an explosion took place in the parking lot of Ahli Arab hospital, killing dozens. The Israeli army and Hamas blame each other for this explosion which sparked international condemnation and protest movements.
Also on Thursday, the Hamas Ministry of Health claimed that the Israeli army had hit several departments of Al-Shifa hospital, the largest in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army announced “searching every floor, building after building” of Al-Shifa. The hospitals in the Palestinian territory all accommodate thousands of displaced people who thought they would shelter there from the incessant Israeli bombings, since they are supposed to be protected by international humanitarian law.
The Israeli army claims that Hamas, clified as “terrorist” by the United States, the European Union and Israel, uses these establishments as bases and uses the sick as “human shields”. There war between Israel and Hamas was triggered by the attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement on October 7 which left around 1,200 dead in Israel, mostly civilians, according to the authorities. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli bombings launched in retaliation left 11,500 dead, mostly civilians, including 4,710 children, according to the Hamas government.