Thousands flee Gaza’s main hospital but hundreds, including babies, still trapped by fighting

by Sophia Chen
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Gaza Hospital Crisis

Thousands have evacuated Gaza’s main hospital amid clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants, yet hundreds remain trapped, including numerous infants at risk due to power shortages. Officials reported on Monday that despite efforts to establish safe passages, heavy fighting and communication challenges hinder a clear understanding of the situation.

The Israeli military claims it facilitated safe exits and provided fuel to power the hospital’s generators, allegations disputed by Hamas and Palestinian health officials. The World Health Organization’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated that the hospital lacks water and is no longer functional.

The conflict, now in its sixth week, began with a surprise attack by Hamas on October 7, resulting in significant casualties and displacement among Gaza’s 2.3 million residents. Shifa Hospital symbolizes the war’s impact, with its corridors housing thousands displaced by airstrikes and its medical staff struggling to treat patients under extreme conditions.

Israel accuses Hamas of using the hospital as a shield, a claim unsupported by evidence and denied by Hamas and hospital staff. Mohammed Zaqout, director of Gaza’s hospitals, reports approximately 650 patients and 2,500 displaced persons sheltering at Shifa, with the Health Ministry earlier estimating higher numbers.

As Israeli forces tightened their encirclement, many fled the hospital, leaving behind patients requiring specialized transport. Several healthcare facilities in Gaza have closed or are operating at full capacity, complicating relocation efforts.

Since the hospital’s generator failed on Saturday, the Health Ministry reports multiple deaths, including infants, with more at risk due to the lack of power for essential medical equipment. The military’s offer to assist in moving babies has yet to materialize.

Medical Aid for Palestinians highlights the complexity of transferring critically ill infants, emphasizing the need for a ceasefire to facilitate fuel delivery. Doctors Without Borders’ president, Christos Christou, indicated that patient evacuation could take weeks.

The U.S. advocates for temporary ceasefires to distribute aid, but Israel only allows limited civilian movement. Israeli strikes continue in southern Gaza, leading to significant civilian casualties.

The Health Ministry in Gaza reports over 11,000 Palestinian deaths, including a majority of women and minors, without distinguishing between civilians and militants. Israeli casualties include approximately 1,200, mostly civilians, with Palestinian militants holding nearly 240 hostages. On the Israeli side, about 250,000 have evacuated due to ongoing rocket attacks and border conflicts with Hezbollah.

Reported by Magdy from Cairo.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gaza hospital crisis

What is the current situation at Gaza’s main hospital amid the conflict?

The situation at Gaza’s main hospital is critical, with thousands having fled due to nearby fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants. However, hundreds, including many babies, remain trapped inside due to lack of electricity and ongoing heavy gunfire. Efforts to provide safe corridors and essential resources like fuel for generators have been hindered by the conflict.

How has the conflict affected medical operations at Shifa Hospital?

Medical operations at Shifa Hospital have been severely impacted. The hospital has been without water for days and is struggling to function due to power outages. Medical staff are running low on supplies and are forced to perform surgeries under extremely challenging conditions, including a lack of anesthesia.

What are the claims regarding Hamas’ involvement with the hospital?

Israel claims that Hamas is using the hospital as a shield and alleges the presence of a command center and military infrastructure within the hospital compound. However, these claims are unsupported by evidence and have been denied by both Hamas and hospital staff.

How many people are currently sheltering in Shifa Hospital?

Estimates vary, but according to the latest reports, around 650 patients and critically wounded individuals are being treated at Shifa, with about 2,500 displaced Palestinians sheltering within the hospital buildings. Earlier estimates suggested even higher numbers.

What are the challenges in evacuating patients from Shifa Hospital?

Evacuating patients from Shifa Hospital is complex due to the heavy encirclement by Israeli forces and the necessity for ambulances and special procedures for patient relocation. Additionally, many other hospitals in Gaza have either shut down or are working at full capacity, leaving limited options for patient relocation.

What has been the response of international organizations to the crisis at Shifa Hospital?

International organizations like the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders have expressed concern over the dire situation. They emphasize the need for a ceasefire to allow for the safe transfer of patients and the delivery of essential supplies like fuel for generators.

What are the casualty figures in the ongoing conflict, as reported by the Health Ministry in Gaza?

The Health Ministry in Gaza reports over 11,000 Palestinian deaths, including a majority of women and minors, since the conflict began. On the Israeli side, approximately 1,200 people, mostly civilians, have been killed. There are also reports of Palestinian militants holding nearly 240 hostages.

More about Gaza hospital crisis

  • Gaza Hospital Humanitarian Crisis
  • Shifa Hospital in Conflict
  • Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Updates
  • Gaza Health Ministry Reports
  • International Response to Gaza Crisis
  • Medical Challenges in Gaza Conflict
  • Casualty Figures in Gaza-Israel Conflict

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