Heavy fighting broke out on Monday around a hospital in the northern Gaza Strip where thousands of patients and displaced people are taking refuge. and where an Israeli bombing left at least 12 dead, while Israel redoubles its ground offensive against the Islamist group Hamas. The clashes around the Indonesian Hospital come a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) evacuated 31 premature babies from Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza, 28 of whom have already been transferred to Egypt.
The attacks on hospitals marked the last weeks of the offensive launched by the Israeli Army in Gaza since Hamas militants killed 1,200 people and kidnapped another 240, including twenty Argentines. Israel says Hamas uses civilians as human shields and operates a major command center in and beneath Al Shifa Hospital and a network of tunnels beneath the Indonesian Hospital. Israel’s critics say its siege of Gaza and continued bombing amounts to collective punishment for the territory’s 2.3 million Palestinians, where Israeli attacks already leave 13,300 dead.
About 200 patients were evacuated from the Indonesian Hospital this Monday of the Gaza Strip, bombed by Israel, according to the Ministry of Health of the Palestinian territory. “There are still 400 patients in the hospital and we are working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to evacuate them to the Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis,” in the south of the Strip, said ministry spokesman Ashraf al Qidreh.
Al Qidreh said that for the Israeli bombing against the Indonesian Hospitallocated on the outskirts of the Jabalia refugee camp, At least 12 patients and relatives died and dozens were injured. Gaza Health Ministry Director General Munir al Bursh said Israeli tanks were operating less than 200 meters from the health center and Israeli snipers could be seen on the roofs of nearby buildings.
Babies in critical condition
Of the 31 babies who had been transferred on Sunday to a hospital in the city of Rafah, in the far south of Gaza, 28 arrived in Egypt this Monday to receive medical attention. The evacuation was carried out by the Palestinian Red Crescent in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
After crossing the Rafah border crossing and being admitted to the Egyptian Al Arish hospital, sources at the medical center reported that “most or even all” of the babies were in critical condition, and 12 of them had to be transferred to Cairo for treatment. receive specialized care. According to the same sources, three of them died before entering Egypt “due to the long time it took to coordinate the transfer of the babies through dangerous areas” inside the Gaza Strip.
The Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, said this Monday that the killing of children in the Gaza Strip since the war between Israel and Hamas began “is unprecedented” in any conflict since he assumed the general secretary of the organization. “Without getting into arguments about the accuracy of the figures published in Gaza, what is clear is that In a few weeks we have had thousands of children die“Guterres remarked.
They install a field hospital
In a development that could relieve some of the pressure on Gaza’s collapsed health system, Dozens of trucks entered the Palestinian territory this Monday from Egypt with equipment from Jordan to establish a field hospital. Jordanian state media said the hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis would be operational within 48 hours.
“The situation is catastrophic in the hospitals in the south, which receive hundreds of wounded every day due to the aerial and artillery bombardments that continue,” explained Mohammed Zaqut, general director of hospitals in the Gaza Strip. The NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF) declared on Monday in X that its clinic in Gaza was attacked and that there is “intense fighting around it.” The 21 people who remain inside are “in extreme danger,” the organization warned.
The Israeli Army reported this Monday that its troops in the Gaza Strip detained “more than 300 terrorists”, from whom they obtained important information such as the location of tunnels and weapons depots. In a statement, the Army spokesperson detailed that, during the interrogations, the captured militiamen “gave the location of underground terrorist tunnels and weapons depots, in addition to exposing the enemy’s attack methods and their assimilation efforts within the civilian population.” .
Palestinian militias launched rockets against central Israel again on Monday, among other places towards the city of Tel Aviv, where no incidents of this type had occurred since last Friday, without the attack causing any injuries. The volley of rockets was launched after Tel Aviv schools announced they would fully reopen on Tuesday, as the area was no longer subject to certain restrictions after the intensity of projectiles from Gaza decreased in recent days.
Biden trusts in the release of the hostages
The president of United States, Joe Biden, said Monday that he believes a deal is close to release hostages in the Gaza Strip in exchange for Israel pausing its military operations in the Palestinian territory. “I think so,” Biden responded during a Thanksgiving turkey pardoning ceremony at the White House when asked if the warring parties, mediated by Qatar, were close to reaching an agreement.
When the journalist asked him the same question, Biden responded “Yes” and crossed his fingers. “We have never been so close, we are confident. But there is still work to do. Nothing is done until everything is done,” added White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
The Israeli military estimates that some 240 people were taken hostage by Hamas and taken to Gaza. Qatar, which is carrying out mediation to try to obtain his release in exchange for a truce, said on Sunday that only “three very small obstacles” remained for an agreement. These advances were not confirmed by either Hamas or Israel, whose government rejects any ceasefire without the release of hostages.
The foreign ministers of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Indonesia discussed the escalation with their Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi. Wang declared that the international community must “act urgently to stop the humanitarian disaster” in the Strip, adding: “The situation in Gaza affects all countries in the world, calls into question the human sense of right and wrong and the limits of humanity.”