Heavy fighting breaks out around another Gaza hospital as babies evacuated to Egypt

by Chloe Baker
Gaza Conflict

Intense conflict erupted on Monday near a northern Gaza hospital, which had been a refuge for thousands of patients and displaced individuals for several weeks. This escalation occurred as Israel intensified its campaign, claiming it is targeting Hamas and its militant network.

A shell hit the Indonesian Hospital’s second floor, resulting in at least 12 fatalities. The casualties were confirmed by both the Health Ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza and an on-site medical worker. The Israeli military has not yet responded to these events.

This incident follows the World Health Organization’s evacuation of 31 premature infants from Shifa Hospital, with 28 being transferred to Egypt on Monday. Meanwhile, over 250 severely injured or critically ill patients are trapped in the hospital, previously invaded by Israeli forces.

The situation in Gaza’s hospitals has become a central point in the discourse over the war’s devastating impact on Palestinian civilians. Since the conflict’s ignition following Hamas’ incursion into southern Israel on October 7, thousands of civilians have either been killed or trapped under debris.

Israel defends its actions by stating that Hamas uses civilians as human shields and had a significant command center in and under Shifa Hospital. However, critics argue that Israel’s siege and continuous aerial bombardment equate to collective punishment for Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinians.

Marwan Abdallah, a medical worker at the Indonesian Hospital, reported the presence of Israeli tanks and snipers near the hospital, with gunfire audible during his phone conversation. He also mentioned the hospital receiving numerous casualties from overnight air raids and shelling.

According to Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra, about 600 patients, 200 healthcare workers, and 2,000 displaced individuals are taking refuge in the hospital.

In a development that might alleviate the strain on Gaza’s overwhelmed healthcare system, dozens of trucks from Egypt entered Gaza on Monday, carrying equipment from Jordan to establish a field hospital in Khan Younis, expected to be operational within 48 hours.

Regarding the Shifa Hospital, the evacuation of premature infants was reported by Egypt’s state media after the Palestinian Red Crescent’s efforts to transfer them to a hospital across the border in Egypt. The whereabouts of three additional babies were not immediately known.

Post-evacuation, over 250 patients with serious infections and other urgent medical needs remain in Shifa. The hospital struggles to provide treatment, lacking water, medical supplies, and fuel for emergency generators amid a territory-wide blackout.

Israeli forces claim to have evidence of Hamas’ extensive command post inside Shifa’s complex. They released a video showing a discovered tunnel and security footage purportedly showing two foreign hostages captured by Hamas. Hamas maintains that the hostages were brought in for medical treatment.

Israel also reported that Israeli army Cpl. Noa Marciano, a captive recovered in Gaza, was initially wounded in an Israeli strike but later killed by a Hamas militant in Shifa.

Hamas and hospital staff refute claims of a command center beneath Shifa. Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan dismissed these allegations, focusing on the tunnel’s discovery.

Nearly three-quarters of Gaza’s population, approximately 1.7 million people, have been displaced due to Israel’s orders to evacuate northern Gaza. The U.N. reports that 900,000 people are crowded into U.N.-run shelters.

Doctors Without Borders reported 70 fatalities and 52 injuries, including children, from strikes in Khan Younis on Saturday. They are conducting numerous burn surgeries daily at Nasser Hospital, overwhelmed with patients requiring such procedures.

Palestinian health authorities state that over 11,500 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, with an additional 2,700 missing and presumed buried under rubble. The figures do not distinguish between civilians and combatants, and Israel claims to have eliminated thousands of militants.

Violence has also escalated in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where over 200 Palestinians have been killed, primarily in conflicts triggered by Israeli military raids.

On the Israeli side, about 1,200 fatalities have occurred, mainly civilians during the October 7 attack. Hamas reportedly dragged approximately 240 captives back into Gaza during this attack. The Israeli military reports 66 soldiers killed in ground operations in Gaza.

Four hostages have been released by Hamas, one rescued by Israel, and two bodies were found near Shifa.

Israel, the U.S., and Qatar have been engaged in negotiations for weeks regarding hostage releases. Israel’s war Cabinet is scheduled to meet with the families of hostages on Monday evening.

Reported by Magdy from Cairo, with contributions from Tia Goldenberg in Tel Aviv and Melanie Lidman in Jerusalem.

Full coverage available at https://bigbignews.net/israel-hamas-war.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gaza Conflict

What caused the recent escalation of conflict around a Gaza hospital?

The escalation was part of Israel’s intensified campaign against Hamas, which Israel claims is aimed at eradicating Hamas and dismantling its militant infrastructure. A shell striking the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza, where thousands of patients and displaced people were sheltering, marked a significant increase in the conflict.

Were there casualties in the hospital attack in Gaza?

Yes, at least 12 people were killed when a shell struck the second floor of the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza. This was confirmed by the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza and a medical worker at the facility.

What was the situation in Shifa Hospital during the Gaza conflict?

Shifa Hospital faced severe challenges, including the evacuation of 31 premature babies to Egypt due to worsening conditions. The hospital, already under strain, could not provide adequate treatment to over 250 critically ill patients due to shortages of water, medical supplies, and fuel.

Has Israel responded to allegations of using heavy force in Gaza?

Israel maintains that its actions are necessary as Hamas uses civilians as human shields and had established a significant command center in and under Shifa Hospital. Israel also claims to have killed thousands of militants in the conflict.

What is the extent of displacement in Gaza due to the conflict?

Nearly three-quarters of Gaza’s population, about 1.7 million people, have been displaced. Many have sought refuge in U.N.-run shelters, with around 900,000 people crowded into these facilities.

How has the international community responded to the Gaza crisis?

International aid organizations like Doctors Without Borders have been actively involved in providing medical assistance. Additionally, diplomatic efforts involving Israel, the United States, and Qatar are ongoing to address the hostage situation and the broader conflict.

More about Gaza Conflict

  • Gaza Conflict Overview
  • Israeli Military Strategy
  • Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza
  • Middle East Diplomatic Efforts
  • Gaza’s Displaced Population
  • International Response to Gaza Conflict

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MiddleEastExpert November 20, 2023 - 11:15 pm

You gotta understand the history here. It’s not just black and white. Both sides have valid points, but the civilians are the ones who suffer most.

JohnDoe123 November 21, 2023 - 2:18 am

wow, this is really intense stuff. i mean, the situation in Gaza is just heartbreaking. Can’t believe so many people are suffering there…

HumanRights4All November 21, 2023 - 2:57 am

This is a humanitarian crisis, no doubt. We need more aid and a ceasefire, like yesterday. How many more have to die before this ends?

RealistViews November 21, 2023 - 5:43 am

I don’t know, guys. It’s complicated, right? Israel says Hamas is using civilians, but the cost is just too high. Those poor people…

PeaceLover67 November 21, 2023 - 10:31 am

Isn’t it time for the international community to step up? I mean, look at those poor babies being evacuated, it’s just sad…


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