Doctors race to save newborns as Israel says it battles Hamas around Gaza’s biggest hospital



CNN

Premature babies at Gaza’s biggest hospital are being kept near hot water fired with foil in a desperate attempt to keep them alive in “catastrophic” conditions, the hospital director has warned is like Israeli gunfire. pounds The surrounding streets and remaining fuel reserves have dried up, rendering the facility inoperable.

As oxygen supplies ran out at Al-Shifa Hospital, staff struggled to keep the newborns alive and warm. Meanwhile, an Al Arabiya Network reporter inside the hospital told CNN that people were trapped there and too scared to flee because of heavy fighting.

“There is no more water, food, milk for babies and children… the situation in the hospital is catastrophic,” Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya, director of the medical center, told CNN on Monday.

Pictures show several newborns taken from incubators at the hospital being placed together in a single bed.

A doctor told Al Arabi TV on Sunday that several children had died in the intensive care unit and nursery over the past two days amid Israel’s relentless bombardment and siege of Gaza, an already impoverished and densely populated territory, following the October 7 attack. The territory of Hamas militants.

An Israeli military spokesman told CNN on Saturday that its forces were involved “Intensive fighting” against Hamas Close to the hospital compound, but denied firing at the North Gaza Medical Center Referrals are subject to hospital blockades.

Israel has repeatedly claimed that a Hamas command center is located beneath Al-Shifa Hospital, a claim denied by Hamas and hospital officials. The Israeli military previously accused Hamas of embedding itself in civilian infrastructure. CNN cannot independently verify Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claims.

Reuters

Newborn babies are put to bed after being taken out of incubators at Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital after the neonatal unit ran out of oxygen, on November 12.

Qader Al Zanoon/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands of displaced people try to stay at Al-Shifa Hospital, medical staff and patients, in a picture taken on November 10. Many civilians are afraid to leave amid Israel’s continued barrage of strikes.

Work by candlelight

A freelance journalist in al-Shifa described dozens of bodies still unburied, ambulances unable to collect the injured and life-support systems without electricity to operate. Doctors were working by candlelight, food was rationed and those inside began drinking tap water, the journalist said late Saturday.

CNN also spoke to Al Arabiya Network correspondent Qader Al Janoun, who is inside the hospital.

“Communication is very poor and it is almost impossible to report what is happening in the hospital and its courtyards, we have no cell lines but no internet,” he said.

“No one can leave the hospital or move, the staff here are aware of many strikes around the hospital, we see smoke coming from those strikes and we know there are people in some of those buildings. But the ambulances didn’t leave the hospital because… one of the last days The ambulance was hit On the way out of the hospital.”

Al-Shifa director Abu Salmiya told CNN that 7,000 displaced people are making a desperate effort to take shelter at Al-Shifa Hospital, along with about 1,500 patients and medical staff.

Inside the hospital, none of the operating rooms were functioning due to the lack of electricity, Abu Salmiya told Al Arabi TV, adding, “The person who needs surgery is dying and we can’t do anything for him.”

“Nowadays injured people come to us and we cannot give them anything other than first aid,” he said.

Al-Shifa has been without power for three days, the World Health Organization said. “Regrettably, the hospital is no longer functioning as a hospital,” it said.

Dr. Ashraf al-Qitra, a spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza, said over the weekend that the intensive care unit, pediatric unit and oxygen equipment were out of service.

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Al-Shifa is far from alone. On Sunday, the Palestine Red Crescent Society announced that Al-Quds Hospital, another major facility in Gaza City, was out of service. The PRCS said the hospital – the second largest in Gaza – was “no longer functional”. This service suspension is due to availability of fuel and power outage.

Israeli airstrikes have killed more than 11,000 people, including 4,506 children and 3,027 women, according to the latest figures released Friday by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, which takes its figures from Hamas-controlled territory.

Israel’s blockade of essential goods, including fuel, entering Gaza has deepened the humanitarian crisis, shutting down hospitals, water systems, bakeries and other services that rely on electricity.

UN Human Rights Commissioner Volker Dürk said on Wednesday that both Hamas and Israel had done so. War crimes In the last month.

Dr. Munir al-Bursh, director general of the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health, said on Monday that al-Shifa’s medical staff refused the IDF evacuation order because they feared about 700 patients would die if they stayed behind.

“The problem is not the doctors but the patients. If they are left behind, they will die, if they are transferred, they will die along the way, and this is the problem, we are talking about 700 patients,” Al-Bursh told CNN on Monday.

“So far there is no response from doctors, but some displaced people and families have already left.”

According to al-Bursh, the evacuation order was not coordinated with any international humanitarian organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross. The lack of coordination raises concerns about the safety and feasibility of transferring such a large number of patients, many of whom are critically ill and likely to die in transit, he said.

CNN has sought comment from the IDF regarding al-Bursh’s accusation that it ordered the evacuation of the hospital.

Earlier on Monday, the IDF announced that the evacuation route for residents of northern Gaza had reopened. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said Sunday Al-Nasr Hospital and Al Randisi Children’s HospitalBoth in northern Gaza were evacuated.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement Interview with CNN Patients cannot be discharged from Al-Shifa for “no reason” on Sunday. Netanyahu told CNN that Israel is helping patients by establishing corridors on the ground, and that “100 or more” have already been evacuated from the hospital.

CNN could not independently verify whether any people were able to leave.

CNN has previously documented Palestinian civilians is killed Israeli attacks around evacuation zones, evacuation zones, and the IDF’s warning alerts underscore the fact that civilians in the densely populated Gaza Strip do not guarantee safety.

International calls for a cease-fire continue to grow as world leaders press Israel for the civilian death toll and massive crowds gather in cities around the world for pro-Palestinian protests. But Netanyahu reiterated to CNN on Sunday that the only stop in the fight is “the release of our hostages.”

The Israeli military estimates that 240 hostages, including civilian men, women and children, have been taken by Hamas in Gaza. The militant group freed four hostages — two elderly Israeli women and an American mother and daughter — while Israeli forces said they rescued an Israeli soldier.

Israeli troops continued their ground operation in Gaza on Sunday, pushing deeper into Gaza City, military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told a news conference. Hagari said infantry and combat engineering forces reached the outskirts of al-Shadi refugee camp in Gaza, which is close to al-Shifa hospital. Meanwhile, military forces combined with the Navy have raided the Casa Marina area and are currently in its eastern areas.

On Sunday, the Israeli military said it placed 300 liters of fuel at the entrance to the Shifa hospital compound, but prevented Hamas from gaining access to the hospital. Abu Salmiya told Al Arabi TV that the staff were too scared to go out to get it.

“We told the Israeli army that the 300 liters of fuel they provided was not enough to run the hospital for 30 minutes,” Abu Salmiya told CNN. He said the hospital asked the IDF for 600 liters of fuel every hour to run its generators on Monday, but the IDF has yet to respond.

The IDF released a video showing soldiers delivering jerry cans to a curbside location near the hospital entrance. It also released an audio recording of a hospital official accusing a Hamas leader of the health ministry of refusing to allow it to be collected.

Abu Salmiya said the collection was prevented by the presence of Israeli tanks.

“Of course, my paramedic team was absolutely terrified to go out,” he said, adding: “We want every drop of fuel, but I told (the IDF) that it must be sent through the International Red Cross or some international agency.”

Hamas has denied the allegations and said the Israeli fuel supply was a propaganda stunt.

This story is being updated with additional developments.

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