Intense clashes between Hamas and Israeli forces near Gaza's largest hospital, Al-Shifa, have exacerbated the strain on the already fragile health system in the area.
GAZA: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-Nov 11th, 2023) Amid escalating tensions, Israel is facing increasing international pressure, including from the United States, to enhance efforts in safeguarding Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
The death toll in the coastal enclave has surpassed 11,000 over the past five weeks, as reported by Gaza health officials.
Intense clashes between Hamas and Israeli forces near Gaza's largest hospital, Al-Shifa, have exacerbated the strain on the already fragile health system in the area. The Gaza health ministry's spokesman, Ashraf Al-Qudra, has appealed for immediate intervention from international and Arab entities to halt the targeting of hospitals in Gaza.
Doctors Without Borders expressed deep concern about the safety of patients and medical staff at Al-Shifa hospital, noting a significant escalation in attacks against the facility. French President Emmanuel Macron, in a recent BBC interview, called for an end to Israel's bombings in Gaza, condemning the actions while recognizing Israel's right to self-defense.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu countered, urging world leaders to condemn Hamas instead, asserting that the crimes committed by Hamas in Gaza could occur anywhere globally. Fighting intensified near overcrowded hospitals in Gaza City overnight, with reports of explosions and gunfire.
Mohammad Abu Selmeyah, director of Al Shifa hospital, accused Israel of launching an assault on Gaza City hospitals. He reported at least 25 casualties in Israeli strikes on Al-Buraq school in Gaza City, where displaced individuals sought shelter.
Israeli military officials claimed that a misfired projectile launched by Palestinian fighters in Gaza hit Shifa hospital. The Israeli government spokesperson, Eylon Levy, argued that Hamas had a headquarters in Shifa hospital's basement, potentially jeopardizing its protected status.
Allegations of Hamas hiding weapons in hospital tunnels were made by Israel, a claim that Hamas denies. The World Health Organization Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated that health workers at Shifa had been forced to evacuate due to security risks, leaving thousands in the hospital vulnerable.
Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra reported that Shifa hospital had been bombed five times, resulting in casualties and scenes of panic, as verified by videos. Israeli tanks positioned around Nasser Rantissi hospital and Al-Quds hospital raised concerns about the safety of medical facilities.
The Palestinian Red Cross reported Israeli forces shooting at Al-Quds hospital, leading to violent clashes and casualties. Israeli army spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht emphasized that the army does not intentionally fire on hospitals but would respond if Hamas terrorists used them as cover.