The Israeli siege causes the collapse of hospitals in northern Gaza | International
The two main hospitals in the north of the Gaza Strip remain cut off and their operations have collapsed this Sunday, unable to admit admission, in the face of the advance of Israeli forces, which surround the capital of the Palestinian enclave in a large-scale war against Hamas militias. In the Al Shifa health complex, the most important in the territory, at least three premature babies have died and dozens are in danger due to power outages in the incubators, as reported by the center's officials to the Reuters agency. The Al Quds center, the second largest hospital, also suspended its activities after running out of supplies.
Israeli military spokesmen maintain that the Islamist movement that has de facto ruled Gaza since 2007 hides military command posts in a network of tunnels dug under hospitals. In a new turn that challenges the international community, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has ruled out the Palestinian National Authority, which governs the West Bank, at the head of a future Executive without Hamas in the Strip, which will remain, according to warned, under exclusive control of Israeli security.
The few health centers still operational, such as the Al Ahli hospital in the Gazan capital, can barely care for patients. He surgeon Fadel Naim He assured this Sunday through the X network (formerly Twitter) that the injured arrive en masse at the center's emergency room. “He is the only one who continues to accept admissions in northern Gaza, but there are hundreds of wounded that exceed our capacity,” he warned.
The Al Shifa hospital has been out of service after three days of Israeli advance in its surroundings, and suffering direct attacks from artillery and aviation that have been denounced by the health authorities. Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al Qifra told Reuters that the center was in a “catastrophic situation, with no one able to enter or leave,” and that Israeli gunfire overnight from Saturday to Sunday had “terrorized the medical personnel and civilians.”
Israel denies having opened fire on health facilities and attributes the impact on a courtyard of the Al Shifa complex, where civilians who have lost their homes in the war, had taken refuge on Thursday to a stray rocket launched by Islamist militias. Armed Forces chief spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said Israel had offered to evacuate the nearly 40 babies who remain in the premature unit, while also clearing a route to evacuate people to the south of the enclave. Israel also claims that it has tried to supply fuel for the hospital's electrical generators, but that Hamas militias have prevented it.
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No medicine or food
The director of the Al Shifa health complex, Mohamed Abu Selmeyah, replied that he had not received this information from the Israeli army, and that the necessary security conditions were not met to organize an evacuation. The Palestinian Red Crescent in turn reported that at the Al Quds hospital, also in the capital of Gaza, there was no longer any medicine or food left to care for patients, so it had to suspend its activity.
An official from the Ministry of Health in Gaza cited by France Presse denounced this Sunday that on the streets of the capital there are patients "abandoned without medical care" after the "forced evacuations" of the Rantisi and Al Naser pediatric hospitals. “We have completely lost contact with the health personnel in these two centers,” said Mohamed Zaqut on behalf of the Health Department of the Hamas-controlled Administration. In another incident not yet detailed, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has assured that an Israeli bombing on Saturday night against its headquarters in Gaza City has caused “a significant number of deaths and injuries” among the hundreds of civilians who were taking refuge in the building.
Hostage negotiations suspended
In the midst of the chaos surrounding the hospitals in the north of the Strip, a Hamas spokesman warned that, due to the siege to which the Al Shifa hospital was being subjected along with other health centers, negotiations for the release of the 240 hostages captured in Israel by its militiamen on October 7. The same source denied that his organization was hiding in tunnels under the hospital facilities.
Qatari mediators continue to try to bring closer positions between Israel and Hamas for an agreement on the hostages that, as reported Washington Postmay involve the release of a hundred kidnapped people. These include Asian migrant workers, foreign visitors, Israelis with a second nationality, as well as women and children. In return, Israel should release a similar number of women, minors and older men imprisoned in Israeli penitentiaries for so-called security crimes, related to the Palestinian cause.
In an interview given on Sunday afternoon to the American network NBC, Netanyahu did not exclude an agreement to release "women, children and elderly men who have been taken hostage." The Israeli leader had announced the night before that Israel would maintain control of the security of the Strip after defeating Hamas, and that it did not count on the "current Palestinian Authority" to take charge of the management of the Palestinian coastal territory, contrary to what noted by US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, on a recent visit to Israel.
“The United States does not want to see more exchanges of fire around the hospitals in the Gaza Strip, where patients and civilians are caught between two fires,” Jake Sullivan, Security Advisor, warned this Sunday. White House National. “We are holding consultations with the Israeli Armed Forces on this issue,” he said.
The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, in turn told the CNN channel that he considered that the attacks in the Gaza Strip amounted to “collective punishment,” which could not even be justified by the massacre of soldiers and civilians committed by Hamas. on October 7 in Israel. Guterres recalled that more than a hundred UN employees in the Strip had lost their lives due to Israeli attacks. Josep Borrell, head of European diplomacy, reiterated that the Union is “seriously concerned” about the “intensification of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.” Thus, he assured in a statement that the EU joins "the calls for immediate pauses in hostilities and the establishment of humanitarian corridors." “We urge Israel to exercise maximum restraint to ensure the protection of civilians,” he added.
Nearly 200,000 Gazans have moved from the south of the Strip in the last three days through the corridor opened by Israel, for at least four hours a day, on the Saladin Highway, which crosses the enclave from end to end. The so-called “humanitarian pauses” have not prevented at least 10 people, including women and children, according to Palestinian medical services, from losing their lives this Sunday in an Israeli bombardment against an inhabited area located in the vicinity of Khan Yunes, in the south. of the Palestinian territory.
At the Rafah crossing, on the border between Gaza and Egypt, meanwhile, some 800 foreign citizens or Palestinians with dual nationality and at least seven injured Palestinians were able to leave the Strip this Sunday in a new day of evacuation, after having remained closed for the last two days, according to Efe. At least 53 trucks with humanitarian aid, 10% of the estimated daily needs, crossed the Egyptian customs terminal this Sunday towards the Palestinian coastal enclave.
Following the warning issued on Saturday against Israel by the leader of Hezbollah, the Shiite cleric Hasan Nasrallah, 18 Israeli soldiers and civilians have been injured near the Lebanese border by rocket fire from Lebanon. In the most serious incident, a person has been admitted in critical condition after the impact of an anti-tank rocket on the vehicle in which he was traveling. Israel, which has responded with intense artillery and aviation bombardments against the launch points of the projectiles in the south of the neighboring country, also attacked military positions in Syria at dawn on Sunday after an attack registered in the Golan Heights, a Syrian plateau. occupied by Israel since 1967.
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