Gaza Al Shifa hospital suspends operations, baby dies

Gaza Al Shifa hospital suspends operations, baby dies

Monitoring Desk

GAZA STRIP: The spokesperson for the Gaza health ministry said that operations in Al Shifa hospital complex, the largest in the Palestinian enclave, were suspended on Saturday after it ran out of fuel

“As a result, one newborn baby died inside the incubator, where there are 45 babies,” Ashraf Al-Qidra, the spokesman for the Health Ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza told Reuters. Israel’s military, which residents said had been fighting Hamas gunmen all night in and around Gaza City where the hospital is located, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The situation is worse than anyone can imagine. We are besieged inside the Al Shifa Medical Complex, and the occupation has targeted most of the buildings inside,” Qidra said by telephone. The Israeli military has said that Hamas militants who rampaged through southern Israel last month have placed command centers under Shifa hospital and others in Gaza, making them vulnerable to being considered military targets.

Hamas has denied using civilians as human shields and health officials say growing numbers of Israeli strikes on or near hospitals put at risk patients, medical staff and thousands of evacuees who have taken shelter in and near their buildings.

“The occupation forces are firing on people moving inside the complex, which is limiting our ability to move from one department to another. Some people tried to leave the hospital and they were fired at,” Qidra said, adding that there was no electricity and no Internet.

Aid agency Doctors Without Borders said it was “extremely concerned” about the safety of patients and medical staff at Al-Shifa hospital. “Over the last few hours, the attacks against Al-Shifa Hospital have dramatically intensified,” it said in a statement posted online on Saturday morning. “Our staff at the hospital have reported a catastrophic situation inside just a few hours ago.”

Maher Sharif, a nurse heading to the Al-Shifa hospital when it was struck on Friday, described how people threw themselves to the ground. “I saw dead bodies, including women and children,” she said, according to a statement by Doctors Without Borders. “The scene was horrific.” — Aljazeera