Israel offers Gaza hospital evacuation for babies but fighting rages on - GulfToday

Israel offers Gaza hospital evacuation for babies but fighting rages on


Children react during the funeral of the Faojo family, killed in Israeli bombing on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday. AFP

Israel's army said it was ready to evacuate babies from Gaza's largest hospital on Sunday, but Palestinian officials said people inside were still trapped, with two newborns dead and dozens at risk from a power outage amid intense fighting nearby.

Al Shifa and other hospitals in northern Gaza, the focus of Israel's month-old war to wipe out Hamas and free hostages, were barely able to care for patients. More people are wounded daily by fierce Israeli bombardment.

Speaking from inside the biggest hospital, Al Shifa, Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf Al Qidra told Reuters Israeli fire had not hit it directly overnight but was "terrorising medical officials and civilians alike."

Israel's chief military spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, said on Saturday Israel's military would help evacuate babies from the hospital at the request of staff there. Al Qidra had said there were 45 babies in total and two had already died.

BabarAzam-sad A woman reacts while sitting with Palestinian children wounded in Israeli strikes waiting to receive treatment at Nasser hospital in Khan Younis. Reuters

Asked about the evacuations, Al Qidra said: "We have not been informed about any mechanism to get the babies out to a safer hospital. So far we are praying for their safety and not to lose more of them."

In the Indonesian Hospital in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, Mosab Subeih, a baby boy, Mosab Subeih, had been rushed in from a house that was struck by an Israeli missile. "He has a direct injury to the head and bleeding, and we have no surgeries," said one of the medics, who were treating him with a manual resuscitator as power had been cut.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said medical staff at another hospital in northern Gaza, Al Quds, were struggling to care for those there with little medicine, food and water.

"Al Quds hospital has been cut off from the world in the last 6-7 days. No way in, no way out," Tommaso Della Longa, spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told Reuters.

Shifa was also out of reach for the newly wounded, said Mohammad Qandil, a doctor at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, who is in touch with colleagues there.

"Shifa hospital now isn't working, no one is allowed in, nobody is allowed out, and if you are wounded or injured around Gaza area you can't be evacuated by our ambulance to Shifa hospital, so Shifa hospital now is out of service," he told Reuters.

On Sunday, Israel said people could safely evacuate from three hospitals in northern Gaza, including Shifa via one of its exits. Hospital director Mohammad Abu Selmeyah told Al Arabiya television that there was no safe passage out.


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