Intense Clashes Around Another Gaza Hospital Following Evacuation of Infants from Shifa

by Lucas Garcia
Gaza Conflict

Intense clashes broke out on Monday near a Gaza hospital in the northern region, a refuge for numerous patients and displaced individuals for several weeks. Israeli forces are concentrating on purging medical facilities alleged to be used by Hamas militants for protection.

The Indonesian Hospital became the focal point just one day after premature babies were evacuated from Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, the largest in the region. These infants were among over 250 patients who were critically injured or ill, trapped inside since Israeli forces encroached upon the facility.

This situation underscores the contentious debate about the war’s severe impact on Palestinian civilians. Thousands have died or been trapped under debris since the conflict, which started six weeks ago due to Hamas’ incursion into southern Israel on October 7.

Israel maintains that Hamas is exploiting civilians as protective shields, while detractors argue that Israel’s blockade and continuous aerial bombardment are tantamount to collective punishment of Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinians.

Marwan Abdallah, a medical professional at the Indonesian Hospital, reported Israeli tanks in proximity, visible from the hospital windows. “They’re moving around and firing,” he stated, adding that the sounds of explosions and gunfire have left women and children in a state of terror.

Al-Jazeera broadcast footage seemingly from the hospital, showing tanks firing close to the building.

Abdallah noted the hospital had received numerous casualties from overnight airstrikes and shelling. He expressed concerns among medical staff and displaced people about a potential Israeli siege and forced evacuation of the hospital.

The Israeli military, usually reticent about troop movements, has not commented on this matter.

Evacuation of Infants

The United Nations managed to safely move the critically ill infants from Shifa to a hospital in southern Gaza. Plans are underway to transfer them to a hospital in Egypt. Prior to this, four babies had died at Shifa within two days, according to Mohamed Zaqout, director of Gaza hospitals.

Shifa Hospital, already struggling with over 250 patients having severe infections and other critical conditions, has been unable to provide adequate treatment due to a shortage of water, medical supplies, and fuel for generators amidst a blackout affecting the entire territory. Israeli forces engaged in combat with Palestinian militants outside Shifa for days before entering last Wednesday.

The Israeli army claims strong evidence of Hamas operating a vast command center within and beneath Shifa’s 20-acre complex. A video released by the military purportedly shows a tunnel at the hospital, equipped with a staircase and firing position, and leading to an unopened blast-proof door.

The Big Big News couldn’t independently confirm these Israeli claims, which also involve security camera footage allegedly showing two foreign hostages, a Thai and a Nepalese national, abducted by Hamas during the October 7 attack.

An Israeli army investigation suggests that Cpl. Noa Marciano, an Israeli captive recovered in Gaza, was initially injured in an Israeli strike but later killed by a Hamas militant in Shifa.

Hamas and Shifa staff have refuted the claims of a command center beneath the hospital. Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan dismissed these allegations, emphasizing their significance.

Widespread Displacement

Israel has urged Palestinians in northern Gaza to relocate south, which is also under air attack. Approximately 1.7 million people, nearly three-quarters of Gaza’s population, are displaced, with around 900,000 in crowded U.N. shelters. The conditions have deteriorated recently due to harsh weather.

Palestinian health authorities report over 11,500 fatalities in Gaza, with an additional 2,700 missing, possibly under debris. The Israeli side has seen around 1,200 deaths, mainly civilians during the October 7 incursion by Hamas. The Israeli military reports 63 soldier casualties.

While Hamas has released four hostages, Israel has rescued one, and two bodies were found near Shifa.

Israel, the U.S., and Qatar are discussing a larger hostage exchange. Israel’s war cabinet is set to meet with the hostages’ families.

Yemen Rebels Seize Ship

In a related development, Yemen’s Houthi rebels captured an Israeli-affiliated cargo ship in the southern Red Sea, taking its 25 crew members hostage. This incident raises concerns about escalating regional tensions due to the ongoing war. The Iran-supported rebels have vowed to target Israel-connected ships.

The Bahamas-flagged Galaxy Leader, operated by a Japanese company and crewed by individuals from various nations, is linked to an Israeli businessman. The ship is currently at Yemen’s Hodeida port, with Japan negotiating for the crew’s release.

Reported by Magdy from Cairo. Contributions from Tia Goldenberg in Tel Aviv, Israel.

For comprehensive coverage, visit https://bigbignews.net/israel-hamas-war.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gaza Conflict

What triggered the recent heavy fighting around Gaza hospitals?

The heavy fighting around Gaza hospitals was sparked by ongoing tensions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israeli forces focused on clearing out medical facilities in northern Gaza, alleging they were used by Hamas militants for cover, which led to intensified clashes around these hospitals.

How were the babies evacuated from Shifa Hospital, and why?

31 premature babies were evacuated from Shifa Hospital in Gaza City due to critical conditions and the inability of the hospital to provide adequate care amid a shortage of essential supplies and a territory-wide blackout. The evacuation was carried out by the United Nations to a hospital in southern Gaza and plans were made for their further transfer to Egypt.

What is the significance of the Indonesian Hospital in the recent Gaza conflict?

The Indonesian Hospital became a focal point of the recent Gaza conflict as Israeli tanks were reported near its vicinity, and it was receiving numerous casualties from airstrikes and shelling. It had also become a refuge for displaced individuals and patients during the ongoing clashes.

What are the claims of the Israeli military regarding Hamas and Shifa Hospital?

The Israeli military claims that Hamas maintained a sprawling command post inside and beneath the Shifa Hospital complex. They released a video showing what they allege to be a tunnel equipped for militant activities, suggesting this as evidence for their claims.

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

Nearly three-quarters of Gaza’s population, approximately 1.7 million people, have been displaced due to the conflict. Many are sheltering in crowded U.N.-run shelters, facing worsening conditions due to cold winds and rain.

How has the Yemen conflict intersected with the Gaza situation?

The Yemen conflict intersected with the Gaza situation when Yemen’s Houthi rebels seized an Israeli-linked cargo ship in the southern Red Sea, escalating regional tensions. This incident reflects the broader implications of the Gaza conflict in the region.

More about Gaza Conflict

  • Gaza Hospital Clashes
  • Shifa Hospital Evacuation
  • Indonesian Hospital in Gaza
  • Israeli Military Claims on Hamas
  • Gaza Displacement Crisis
  • Yemen Rebels and Israeli Ship Seizure

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Mike J. November 20, 2023 - 2:07 pm

wow, this situatin in Gaza sounds realy bad, its like every day theres more bad news. how come things just keep getting worse??

Sarah T. November 20, 2023 - 7:13 pm

I heard about the hospital situation on the news, it’s just heartbreaking. Those poor babies having to be moved, can’t imagine what the parents are going through…

Dave K. November 20, 2023 - 10:15 pm

israeli claims about Hamas using the hospital, sounds fishy to me. Do they have solid proof? sounds like there’s more to the story.

Linda G. November 21, 2023 - 6:40 am

The part about the Yemen rebels seizing the ship, that’s like adding fuel to the fire in an already tense region. Wonder what the international response will be.


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