Israeli forces have reached the gates of Al Shifa, the main hospital in Gaza City, as part of their ongoing campaign to gain control of the northern half of the Gaza Strip. The siege of the hospital and the cutting off of its power have had devastating consequences, leading to the death of 32 patients, including newborn babies. Desperate patients remain trapped inside, awaiting evacuation, while Israel claims that the hospital is being used as a headquarters for Hamas fighters. This dire situation at Al Shifa hospital underscores the devastating impact of the Israeli military campaign on innocent civilians.
Critical Conditions at Al Shifa Hospital: Patients Suffer as Israeli Tanks Circle
According to Ashraf Al-Qidra, spokesperson for the Gaza health ministry, patients including newborn babies are dying due to the siege and the lack of power at Al Shifa hospital. The situation is made worse by the presence of Israeli tanks stationed at the hospital gate, as well as the ongoing firing from snipers and drones. This has resulted in restricted movement for both medical staff and patients, labeling the hospital as a “circle of death.”
Efforts to Evacuate Patients Hindered: Hamas Allegedly Blocks Assistance
Israel has advised civilians to leave the area and has requested that patients be evacuated to other medical facilities. However, Gaza medical authorities claim that Hamas has obstructed attempts to evacuate babies from the neo-natal ward and has limited the provision of fuel. The hospital requires 8,000-10,000 liters of fuel daily to function adequately, but it has only received a mere 300 liters.
Deteriorating Conditions and Pleas for International Support
Dr. Ahmed El Mokhallalati, a surgeon at Al Shifa hospital, describes the critical situation inside the hospital, with babies being crammed into beds and premature infants facing decreased chances of survival. The hospital is in urgent need of fuel to power its emergency generators and is appealing for assistance from international organizations such as the Red Cross.
Escalating Concerns and International Response
The conflict in Gaza has raised alarm worldwide and sparked divisions within the international community. Numerous countries condemn Israel’s response due to the high number of civilian casualties in the densely populated territory. While calls for a ceasefire have been rejected by Israel, arguing it is necessary to eliminate Hamas and blaming the militants for the harm to civilians, the United Nations has expressed profound concern, with humanitarian workers suffering significant losses.
Growing Regional Escalation
The conflict has ignited fears of a larger escalation. Clashes along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon have intensified, and the United States has launched airstrikes on Syria, targeting Iran-linked militias. Hezbollah, backed by Iran, has engaged in missile attacks with Israel, and other Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria have targeted US forces.
Urgent Action Required to Save Lives at Al Shifa Hospital
The situation at Al Shifa hospital exemplifies the dire consequences of the Israeli military campaign in Gaza. The lack of power, ongoing attacks, and limited supplies have placed patients’ lives in grave danger. Immediate support and evacuation options must be provided in collaboration with international agencies such as the Red Cross. The international community must maintain pressure for a ceasefire to prevent further civilian casualties and to avert the escalation of the conflict.