Gaza hospital ‘surrounded by tanks’ as other healthcare facilities say they’ve been damaged by Israeli strikes

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The hospital complex is close to Sheikh Radwan neighborhood and Al Shati camp, where ground fighting was reported by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas separately. “We do not have electricity, no oxygen for the patients, we do not have medicine and water,” al-Kahlout said. “We do not know our fate.”

His call comes after strikes were reported near several other hospitals in northern Gaza, including al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, the territory’s largest medical facility.

A World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson said Friday that al-Shifa was “coming under bombardment,” adding that 20 hospitals in the Gaza Strip were “out of action.”

Asked about a potential Israeli airstrike on al-Shifa hospital on Friday, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said in a briefing: “I haven’t got the detail on al-Shifa but we do know they are coming under bombardment.”

The Israeli military claimed late Friday that a misfired projectile launched from inside Gaza was responsible for the strike on the al-Shifa hospital.

The IDF said that an examination of its operational systems had indicated that “a misfired projectile launched by terrorist organizations inside the Gaza Strip hit the Shifa Hospital.”

Hecht went on to claim that the projectile had been aimed at “IDF troops operating in the vicinity.”

Several social media videos showed people injured in what was described as al-Shifa’s outpatient clinic.

In a Facebook statement, Al Awda hospital in northern Gaza said that due to the “targeting (of) the vicinity of Al Awda Hospital… and the vicinity of the Indonesian Hospital” by Israeli forces, 10 of its employees were injured, infrastructure was hit and nine vehicles were impacted.

This included “two ambulances that were completely damaged,” the hospital statement said.

Human rights groups say Israel’s mass bombardment of civilian areas, evacuation orders and blockade of the territory amount to war crimes.

In a separate statement, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said one of their volunteers had been injured and two ambulances rendered unusable by a strike near Al Awda hospital. The group also shared images and a video of two ambulances with their windscreens shattered in what appears to be the hospital parking lot. It was not immediately clear if PRCS was referring to the same ambulances mentioned in the hospital’s statement.

The IDF has not commented on the incidents but has repeatedly called on civilians to move south of Wadi Gaza, a waterway bisecting the center of the Strip, as it intensifies its assault on Gaza City and the north of the territory.

Majority of Gaza hospitals have stopped functioning

Israel began its offensive inside Gaza, following the October 7 Hamas attacks. While Israel had previously said 1,400 people were killed in the attacks, officials said Friday they now believe the total number of people killed to be around 1,200.

The death toll includes foreign workers and other foreign nationals, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat confirmed.

The current estimate of 1,200 is not a final number, Haiat emphasized, because some of the bodies are yet to be identified.

The Israeli military has since stepped up its campaign on northern Gaza in recent days, effectively cutting the territory in two, with its ground operations and fiercest aerial bombardment apparently concentrated in the north.

But the impact on healthcare facilities has raised concerns about the dire humanitarian situation for those remaining in northern Gaza. The majority of hospitals in Gaza – 18 out of 35 – have stopped functioning, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, which draws its figures from the Hamas-controlled territory, said on Thursday.

In addition, 71% of all primary-care facilities have shut down due to damage or lack of fuel, the ministry said. Its statement said that the hospitals that remain open are limited in what they can provide and are shutting gradually down wards.

Volker Türk, the top United Nations human rights official, on Friday meanwhile raised doubts over Israel’s unilateral establishment of “safe zones” in Gaza, saying that nowhere within the territory was safe for civilians.

Streams of Palestinians – including women, children and the elderly – are making their way south in a growing exodus along daily evacuation corridors announced by the Israeli military.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday said that “far too many Palestinians have been killed, far too many have suffered these past weeks” – one of his most direct condemnations of the civilian toll that the Israeli offensive has taken in Gaza.

This is a developing story and is being updated.

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