Gaza hospitals come under new Israeli attacks: Officials

18 of 35 Gaza hospitals and 40 other health centres were out of service either due to damage from bombardment or lack of fuel

By Reuters

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Smoke rises as displaced Palestinians take shelter at Al Shifa hospital, amid the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel, in Gaza City, November 8. — Reuters
Smoke rises as displaced Palestinians take shelter at Al Shifa hospital, amid the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel, in Gaza City, November 8. — Reuters

Published: Fri 10 Nov 2023, 10:52 AM

Gaza officials said Israel launched air strikes on or near at least three hospitals on Friday, further endangering a health system swamped with thousands of casualties and people displaced by Israel's war against Hamas in the Palestinian enclave.

"The Israeli occupation launched simultaneous strikes on a number of hospitals during the past hours," Gaza Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf Al Qidra told Al Jazeera television.

Qidra said Israel targeted the courtyard of Al Shifa, the biggest hospital in Gaza City, and there were casualties, but he did not provide details. Israel said Hamas has hidden command centres and tunnels beneath Al Shifa, allegations Hamas denies.

Israel's military did not immediately comment on Qidra's statement, which Reuters could not independently verify.

The month-old Israeli military campaign to wipe out Hamas, following the group's October 7 raid on southern Israel, has left Gaza's hospitals struggling to cope, as medical supplies, clean water, and fuel to power generators have been running out.

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Gaza's health ministry has said 18 of 35 hospitals and 40 other health centres were out of service either due to damage from bombardment or lack of fuel.

Palestinian media published video footage on Friday of Al Shifa, which Reuters was unable to authenticate immediately, that it said showed the aftermath of an Israeli attack on a parking lot where displaced Palestinians were sheltered and journalists were observing.

A pool of blood could be seen next to the body of a man being placed on a stretcher.

"With ongoing strikes and fighting nearby (Al Shifa), we are gravely concerned about the well-being of thousands of civilians there, many children among them, seeking medical care and shelter," Human Rights Watch said on social media site X.

Qidra said Al Rantisi Pediatric Hospital and Al-Nasr Children's Hospital "have been witnessing a series of direct attacks and bombardments" on Friday. He said strikes on the hospital grounds at Al-Rantisi set vehicles on fire but they had been partly extinguished.

Indonesia's foreign ministry said on Friday there were explosions near the Indonesian Hospital overnight, which damaged parts of the hospital, located at the northern end of the narrow coastal enclave. It did not say who was responsible for the explosion and it did not report any deaths or injuries.

"Indonesia once again condemns the savage attacks on civilians and civilian objects, especially humanitarian facilities in Gaza," the ministry said in a statement.

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