Gaza: Israel airstrikes target four Gaza hospitals, killing many

By  Nadine Osman

London, (The Muslim News): On Thursday, the Israelis bombed four Gaza hospitals, including Al-Shifa, the main hospital in the besieged enclave, Al-Quds, Al-Awda, and the Al-Rantisi Paediatric hospitals.

According to the Gaza-based government media office, 18 of Gaza’s 34 hospitals were closed due to Israeli airstrikes or a lack of fuel and medical supplies..

The Israeli army continues to strike Al-Shifa Hospital, alleging that Hamas military leadership is stationed in it, a claim vehemently denied by the Palestinian group. Six Palestinians were killed in the airstrike and several others were injured.

Meanwhile, a fire broke out on the ground floor of Al-Rantisi Paediatric Hospital from the Israeli airstrikes.

The Indonesian Hospital, north of Gaza, came under a series of heavy Israeli airstrikes in its vicinity, causing panic among the medical staff, patients, and displaced people inside the hospital.

It added that Al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza became the target of Israeli airstrikes, which left two medics wounded and two ambulances destroyed.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society reported heavy Israeli airstrikes near Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City, a medical facility home to nearly 14,000 displaced Palestinians.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said Thursday that 99 of its staff have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the conflict on October 7.

“The past month was painful for UNRWA,” said Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner General, during the International Humanitarian Conference for Civilians in Gaza held in Paris, France.

He said, “99 of my male and female colleagues were killed in Gaza. This is by far the largest number of United Nations relief workers killed in a conflict in such a short time.”

“The killing of thousands of children (in Gaza) cannot be collateral damage,” he said.

Lazzarini added that pushing a million people to leave their homes and concentrating them in areas that lack adequate infrastructure constitutes “forced displacement” and that severely restricting food, water, and medicine is “collective punishment.”

He said, “The Israeli military incursion and settler violence in the West Bank caused a record rise in the number of Palestinian deaths.”

“For the first time since the start of the war, I visited an UNRWA school that houses thousands of people, and it was a sad and heartbreaking situation.”

“Children are used to learning and laughing in this school, but today they are begging for a piece of bread and a sip of water.”

Lazzarini said, “More than 700,000 displaced people live in similar humiliating conditions inside 150 UNRWA schools and buildings across the Gaza Strip… Our shelters are overcrowded, with little food, water, or privacy.”

“The appalling sanitary conditions represent a looming threat to public health,” he added.

Earlier in the day, the International Humanitarian Conference for Civilians in Gaza was launched in Paris with the participation of many representatives of countries and organisations, including Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yildiz, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and European Council President Charles Michel.

In his opening speech at the conference, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that his country would allocate an additional €80 million ($85 million) for humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people, bringing its total for the current year to €100 million.

Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by Hamas on October 7.

At least 10,569 Palestinians, including 4,324 children and 2,823 women, have been killed. The Israeli death toll, meanwhile, is nearly 1,600, according to Israeli official figures.

[Photo: Palestinian baby killed by Israeli airstrikes carry their baby from morgue of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital for funeral ceremony in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza on 10 11 23. Photojournalist Mustafa Hassona/AA]

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