Conflicts Cause Palestinians to Flee Gaza Hospitals, Stranding Patients and Medical Staff

by Ethan Kim
Gaza humanitarian crisis

The escalation of conflicts around Gaza’s hospitals has compelled thousands of Palestinians to evacuate from some of the last refuges in northern Gaza, leaving severely injured patients, newborns, and medical personnel trapped with limited supplies and no electricity, as reported by health officials on Monday.

The Israeli military has directed Palestinians to relocate southward on foot, utilizing designated safe passages. However, this effort to distinguish civilians from Hamas militants has led to substantial displacement, with over two-thirds of the 2.3 million residents having vacated their homes.

During the weekend, as Israeli forces surrounded Gaza’s Shifa Hospital, many evacuated, while hundreds of patients and displaced individuals remained, health officials stated. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, noted that Shifa is no longer operational as a hospital.

Additionally, Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City ceased operations on Sunday due to a fuel shortage. The Palestinian Red Crescent, managing the hospital, reported Israeli forces’ proximity and the ongoing evacuation of approximately 6,000 patients, medical staff, and displaced persons.

Israel-Hamas Conflict

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The conflict, now in its sixth week, began with Hamas’s unexpected attack on Israel on October 7, leading to unprecedented destruction in Gaza. Shifa Hospital, especially, has become a symbol of the war’s impact on civilians and medical facilities.

Shifa represents the hardship of civilians, with thousands seeking refuge there amidst airstrikes. Medical professionals, facing supply shortages, have had to perform surgeries, including on children, without anesthesia. A photo circulated showing nine premature babies in a single crib.

Israel accuses Hamas of using civilians and hospitals as shields, alleging a command center within the Shifa compound. Despite these claims, Israel has not provided conclusive evidence, although it has shown footage of militants near residential areas.

Hamas and Shifa’s staff refute these allegations. A U.N. health official indicated that many with moderate injuries have left the hospital, but those remaining require ambulances and special arrangements for relocation.

Mohammed Zaqout, head of Gaza’s hospitals, stated that about 650 patients, 500 medical staff, and 2,500 displaced individuals remain in the hospital, a decrease from the 20,000 reported earlier.

The Health Ministry in Hamas-led Gaza announced that 32 patients, including three infants, have died since the hospital’s generator failed. About 36 babies and other patients are at risk due to the inability to operate life-saving equipment.

Melanie Ward, CEO of Medical Aid for Palestinians, emphasized the complexity of transferring critically ill infants. She advocated for a ceasefire to facilitate fuel supply and safe transfers.

The military claimed to have provided fuel to the hospital, which Hamas allegedly hindered. The Health Ministry contested this, stating the fuel was insufficient.

The U.S. has advocated for temporary ceasefires for aid distribution. Israel agrees to limited daily evacuation windows but continues its military actions.

Despite these measures, many remain in northern Gaza, facing ongoing combat. Saib Abu Hashish, a resident, described the dire situation of being trapped without food or water.

Since the conflict’s onset, over 11,000 Palestinians, predominantly women and children, have perished, per the Health Ministry in Gaza, which does not distinguish between civilian and militant casualties. About 2,700 are missing.

The Health Ministry has not updated these figures recently due to information collection challenges. On the Israeli side, around 1,200 have died, mostly in the initial Hamas attack, with nearly 240 hostages held by Palestinian militants. The Israeli military reports 44 soldier fatalities.

Approximately 250,000 Israelis have evacuated from areas near Gaza and the Lebanese border, where conflicts with Hezbollah have also occurred.

This report, initially containing a factual error regarding Israeli military casualties, has been corrected. Magdy from Cairo and Amy Teibel from Jerusalem contributed to this report.

Further details and full coverage are available at bigbignews.net/israel-hamas-war.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gaza Hospitals Conflict

What is the current situation of hospitals in Gaza due to the Israel-Hamas conflict?

Hospitals in Gaza, particularly Shifa Hospital, are facing severe challenges due to the ongoing conflict. Thousands of Palestinians have been forced to flee, leaving critically injured patients, including newborns, and medical staff stranded with limited supplies and no electricity. Other hospitals like Al-Quds have shut down due to fuel shortages, complicating the healthcare crisis further.

How has the conflict affected the civilian population in Gaza?

Over two-thirds of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million have fled their homes due to the conflict. The situation has particularly impacted healthcare facilities, with patients and staff trapped in hospitals like Shifa, which is no longer operational as a hospital. The Israeli military’s actions to separate civilians from Hamas militants have led to substantial civilian displacement and hardship.

What are the main challenges faced by Gaza’s hospitals during this conflict?

Gaza’s hospitals are grappling with the evacuation of patients and staff amidst severe shortages of supplies and electricity. Fuel shortages have led to the closure of hospitals like Al-Quds, and the largest hospital, Shifa, is functioning under extreme duress with overcrowded conditions, lack of medical supplies, and inadequate power.

What has been the international response to the situation in Gaza’s hospitals?

Organizations like the World Health Organization and Medical Aid for Palestinians have expressed concern over the dire situation in Gaza’s hospitals. There have been calls for ceasefires to allow for the safe transfer of patients and the provision of medical supplies and fuel. The U.S. has pushed for temporary pauses in conflict to facilitate aid distribution.

More about Gaza Hospitals Conflict

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EmmaK November 13, 2023 - 5:20 pm

this is just sad, kids and babies stuck in hospitals without proper care? How can this be allowed to happen…

Gary_L November 13, 2023 - 6:54 pm

The numbers are staggering, over 11,000 Palestinians killed? And still, the world watches. Where is the action from our leaders?

JohnDoe87 November 14, 2023 - 12:24 am

I read about Shifa Hospital before, but didn’t realize how bad things were. The international community needs to step up, don’t they?

Mark J November 14, 2023 - 7:53 am

Wow, this situation in Gaza is really heartbreaking. can’t imagine being stuck in a hospital like that, no power, not enough meds and all.

SusanT November 14, 2023 - 11:33 am

it’s terrible what’s happening there! Hospitals should be safe places, not caught up in war like this…


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