What we know about the situation of hospitals in Gaza

Since Friday, the noose has tightened around hospitals, mainly in Gaza City, at the heart of the fighting

What we know about the situation of hospitals in Gaza

Since Friday, the noose has tightened around hospitals, mainly in Gaza City, at the heart of the fighting. The Israeli army assures that they are used by Hamas as “headquarters”, or to hold hostages. Hospitals, which accommodate many patients, as well as refugees, are now without electricity due to lack of fuel needed to operate the generators. The deputy health minister of the Hamas-led Gaza Strip also said on Monday, November 13, that “all hospitals in Gaza province,” the north of the Gaza Strip, where the fighting has place between the Israeli army and Hamas fighters, were “out of order”.

In the heart of Gaza City, it is the main hospital in the enclave. According to the United Nations (UN), its surroundings have for several days been the scene of violent clashes between Hamas and the Israeli army. According to a BBC journalist in contact with a person inside the hospital, it is surrounded by Israeli tanks.

Quoted Monday by the Associated Press news agency, the director of Gaza hospitals, Mohammed Zaqout, said that more than 650 patients were seriously injured and were being treated by 500 medical staff. Mr. Zaqout also estimates that 2,500 people have found refuge in hospitals in the enclave.

According to a surgeon member of Doctors Without Borders present in the establishment, the situation there is “inhumane”. “There is no food,” he laments. “The medical team agreed to leave the hospital only if the patients are evacuated first,” he continues, referring to “many corpses” in front of one of the hospital entrances.

Images obtained by the Reuters news agency on Monday showed newborns presented as premature and gathered on a hospital bed after having to be taken out of their incubators.

At least “179 bodies” were buried on Tuesday in a “mass grave” dug in the Al-Shifa hospital complex, its director announced to Agence France Presse on Tuesday. “There are bodies littering the aisles of the hospital complex, and the refrigerated rooms of the morgues are no longer supplied” with electricity because not a drop of fuel has entered the Gaza Strip since the start of the war between Israel and Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on October 7, he added.

However, on Sunday, the Israeli army claimed in a statement accompanied by a video that it had delivered 300 liters of fuel to Al-Shifa hospital and accused Hamas of having prevented the staff from taking delivery. In a report published Monday, the Israeli army believes that the building, particularly its basement, houses one of Hamas’ “headquarters.” On the night of Monday to Tuesday, the Israeli army announced in a press release that it was offering to transfer medical equipment to the hospital.

“The terrorists in the Al-Shifa caves tonight can hear the thunderous sound of our tanks and bulldozers,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Friday after a day of intense bombing around hospitals.

This hospital is the other major health facility in Gaza. It is located in the Tel Al-Hawa neighborhood in the south of the city. It is notably managed by the Palestinian Red Crescent, affiliated with the International Red Cross Movement.

The Israeli army claimed on Monday to have killed around twenty “terrorists” who had mixed with civilians near the entrance to the establishment. “The soldiers identified among the civilians a terrorist squad equipped with two rocket launchers. As a result of the shooting by the terrorists, a tank was damaged,” she describes on the Telegram messaging service.

The hospital also stopped functioning on Sunday due to a lack of fuel and electricity, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent. It hosts 500 patients and more than 14,000 displaced people, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

On Monday, a medical convoy responsible for evacuating patients from this establishment had to turn back, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent. The latter had announced on X Sunday the “decommissioning” of the hospital due to “the exhaustion of available fuel and power cuts”.

This hospital, specializing in pediatric care, is located in the north of Gaza City. He was evacuated on Friday, according to the BBC.

The Israeli army said Monday evening on Telegram that it had “clues” showing that Hamas fighters held hostages kidnapped on October 7 in this hospital.

Under the Rantissi hospital, in the north of the enclave, the Israeli army collected objects “that suggest that Hamas was holding hostages here,” the Hamas spokesperson said on X (formerly Twitter). army, Daniel Hagari, supporting video. “We found evidence that Hamas terrorists returned (…) to this hospital” after the October 7 attack, the spokesperson added.

The Israeli army also said it had uncovered “Hamas infrastructure in the basement” of Rantissi Hospital. Among the weapons found were “explosive belts, grenades, AK47 assault rifles, explosive devices, rocket launchers,” Mr. Hagari listed.

On October 17, an explosion hit the Al-Ahli hospital site, causing a number of victims that is still uncertain to this day. According to our analysis of the images, published on November 3, the trajectory and speed of a salvo of Palestinian rockets are technically consistent with the explosion at the hospital.

According to Doctor Ghassan Abu Sittah, quoted by the BBC, the hospital does not have the resources to cope with the influx of patients. “We are running out of medicine and we have to perform extremely painful procedures without painkillers or anesthesia. »

“The Palestinian Red Crescent set up a field hospital in the basement. This is where we work,” reported surgeon Ghassan Abu Sitta, contacted by Le Monde Saturday evening.

According to the UN, this clinic was destroyed during the day of November 11, during the bombing of the Ash Shati camp. No assessment could be established. Al-Mahdi hospital was bombed on the night of November 11 to 12, killing two doctors and injuring others, according to the same source.