Fear grows for patients inside hospital at Gaza

Gaza/Jerusalem, November 16

Palestinian medics said on Thursday they were increasingly afraid for the lives of hundreds of patients and medical staff at Gaza’s biggest hospital, cut off from all links to the outside world for more than a day after Israeli forces entered. Gaza’s health ministry said Israeli soldiers had removed bodies from the grounds of the Al Shifa hospital and destroyed cars parked there but were not letting staff or patients leave.

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Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said there was no water, food nor baby milk in Shifa, which was packed with 650 patients and about 7,000 people displaced by weeks of Israeli air strikes and artillery bombardments.

“Medical teams, patients and displaced people are fighting death due to the lack of any basic life necessities. The occupation forces are now present in the complex, but they did not provide any fuel for the hospital to continue work,” he said in a statement.

“We demand the occupation forces leave the Al Shifa complex so that it can get back to work.” Medics have previously said dozens of patients, including three premature babies, had died from a lack of fuel and basic supplies during a days-long siege that culminated with the Israeli forces entering the hospital early on Wednesday.

Israel said on Thursday its troops were still there, but declined to give further details beyond its reports from the previous day, when it distributed images of soldiers unloading boxes marked “medical aid” and “baby food”, and said they had found weapons. — Reuters

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