Israel kills 11,500 in Gaza, storms Al-Shifa Hospital despite UN condemnation

Daily News Egypt
6 Min Read

The death toll from the Israeli aggression on Gaza has risen to 11,500, with nearly 30,000 injured after 40 days of continuous bombardment on the besieged Strip, according to a statement by the government media office in Gaza on Wednesday.

The statement said that the Israeli occupation committed 1,200 massacres and destroyed 95 government buildings, 25 hospitals, and 52 health centres, rendering them out of service.

On Wednesday, the director of the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza, Mohamed Abu Salamiya, said that the Israeli army was still occupying several hospital buildings, and shooting at anyone who moved. He said: “We cannot reach the pharmacy to treat patients, as the occupation shoots everyone who moves.”

Abu Salamiya explained in media statements that the Israeli army interrogated several workers in many hospital departments, and added that water, electricity, and oxygen were cut off from all departments of the hospital.

He said that the hospital departments were closed to those trapped inside, and no one could enter or leave. He also said that they were unable to communicate with doctors to inquire about the condition of the patients, especially premature babies.

Abu Salamiya reported that the water line supplying the hospital had exploded, and said, “We do not have a drop of water.” He said that the emergency department was completely closed and had hundreds of wounded people and that more than 900 patients and 5,000 displaced people faced certain deaths. He also said that no doctor could move from one place to another inside the hospital.

He called for the urgent delivery of fuel to all hospitals, and coordination for the safe evacuation of children and patients from Al-Shifa Hospital.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that they entered Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza despite demands not to enter, and said: “There is no place in Gaza that we will not reach,” according to Israeli media.

The General Director of Hospitals in the Gaza Strip, Mohamed Zaqout, said that the Israeli army interrogated the patients, companions, and medical staff for 10 hours. He said that the Israeli army did not allow children to be brought to nurseries and that children and kidney patients at Al-Shifa Hospital were in grave danger. He said, “Premature babies need care, solutions, and medicines, and they are in grave danger. The staff and patients at the Al-Shifa complex cannot move from one area to another. We demand that the patients be evacuated to Egypt for treatment. No aid has entered us from the Rafah border crossing for two weeks.”

The Government Information Office in Gaza said that the Israeli army’s storming of the Al-Shifa Medical Complex and opening fire inside it was a war crime. It said that what it described as Israel’s lies about the existence of safe passages were “dirty propaganda and baseless allegations.”

It also said that the Israeli army executed many families who tried to leave Al-Shifa Hospital, killing more than 30 people. The Israeli army also blew up a warehouse of medicines and medical devices inside the complex.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that they had lost contact with health workers at Al-Shifa Hospital, and expressed their deep concern about the safety of staff and patients. They said that their protection was crucial. The WHO also said that there were about 3,500 beds in Gaza hospitals before the aggression, and today there are only about 1,400. They said that patients, health workers, and ambulances could not enter or leave some hospitals.

The WHO also said that the urgent needs were a ceasefire, the opening of the Rafah crossing, and the restoration of electricity and fuel supplies.

Moreover, The United Nations said that the quantities of fuel that entered the Gaza Strip were insufficient at all. Earlier on Wednesday, regional media quoted two Egyptian security sources as saying that a truck loaded with fuel began crossing from Egypt into the Gaza Strip, which is the first since Israel imposed a comprehensive siege on the Strip during its ongoing 40-day war. “Israel allowed 24,000 litres of diesel fuel to enter Gaza, to be used by UN aid distribution trucks and not for hospitals.” 

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, said that it is very important to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip, especially fuel and medical equipment. Griffiths explained that UNRWA needs to make room to prepare shelters in the southern Gaza Strip, adding, “We urge that the displaced residents of northern Gaza be allowed to return to their homes.”

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