Thousands have been evacuated from Gaza’s main hospital, but hundreds, including children, are still trapped in the fighting

DEIR AL-BALA, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli forces and Palestinian militants appear to have withdrawn from Gaza’s largest hospital, but hundreds of patients, including dozens of children, are at risk of death. Health officials said Monday that the power was still inside.

With intermittent communications, it was difficult to reconcile the competing claims of the Israeli military, which said it was providing a safe corridor for people to travel south, and Palestinian health officials. Inside the hospitalHe said that the compound was constantly surrounded by heavy gunfire.

The army said it had placed 300 liters (79 gallons) of fuel near the hospital to help run the hospital’s generators, but Hamas fighters prevented staff from reaching it. The health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza denied that, saying the fuel would have provided less than an hour of electricity.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a post on social media that Shifa had been without water for three days and was “no longer functioning as a hospital”.

Both sides took the plight of the hospital as a symbol The Great War, now in its sixth week. A fight ensued Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 surprise attack Inside Israel, and Israel’s response, has brought unseen death and destruction to Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinian residents, nearly two-thirds of whom have had to flee their homes without finding safe haven in the besieged territory.

For Palestinians, Shifa is inspiring Public suffering. Doctors short of supplies are operating without anesthesia on war-wounded patients, including children. Thousands of people displaced by airstrikes that destroyed entire city blocks take refuge in its dark corridors.

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Israel says the hospital is the first example of Hamas’ alleged use of human shields, saying — without evidence — that the militants have a command center and other military infrastructure inside and below the medical complex. Hamas and hospital staff deny the allegations.

About 650 patients and seriously injured are being treated in Shifa by 500 medical staff, according to Mohammed Jagout, director of hospitals in Gaza. He estimated that some 2,500 displaced Palestinians have taken shelter inside the hospital buildings.

As of Saturday, the health ministry estimated that around 3,000 doctors and patients, as well as 15,000 to 20,000 displaced people, were staying there.

Many displaced families and patients with moderate injuries were evacuated from Shifa, the UN said. A health official said, as Israeli forces surrounded the hospital over the weekend. The official, who was not authorized to brief reporters and spoke on condition of anonymity, said most of the remaining patients could only be moved by ambulances and other special procedures.

It is unclear where they will go as many hospitals and clinics in Gaza have been forced to close, while others are already working at full capacity with dwindling supplies.

The health ministry said 20 patients, including three children, died after the hospital’s emergency generator ran out of fuel on Saturday. Another 36 children and other patients are at risk of death because there is no way to power life-saving medical equipment.

The military said on Sunday that troops would help move the children, without saying how it would transport them or where they would be transferred. There was no sign of anything moving Monday.

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Medical Aid for Palestinians, the UK-based charity that supports Shifa’s neonatal intensive care unit, said transferring critically ill babies is complicated. “With ambulances unable to get to the hospital … and no hospital capable of receiving them, there is no indication of how this can be done safely,” CEO Melanie Ward said. He said the only option was to stop fighting and allow fuel.

Christos Christos, president of the international aid group Doctors Without Borders, told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that it could take weeks to evacuate patients.

The U.S. has pushed for a temporary moratorium that would allow for a wider distribution of badly needed aid to civilians in the region. are increasingly worse.

But only Israel has Agreed to shorter daily periods During this time, civilians could escape the ground war in northern Gaza by walking south along two main roads. Israel continues to attack what it says are militant targets across southern Gaza, killing mostly women and children.

More than 11,000 Palestinians, two-thirds of them women and minors, have been killed since the war began, according to Gaza’s health ministry. Does not differentiate Between civilian and militant deaths. About 2,700 people are missing.

Health officials working from Shifa have not updated the numbers since Friday due to difficulties in accessing and gathering information from the worst-hit areas.

At least 1,200 people have been killed on the Israeli side, mostly civilians in the initial Hamas attack. Palestinian militants Nearly 240 hostages captured in the raid are being held, including men, women, children and adults. Army says 44 soldiers killed in ground operations in Gaza

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About 250,000 Israelis have fled communities near Gaza, where Palestinian militants still fire barrages of rockets, and Israel and the Hezbollah militant group have repeatedly exchanged fire along Lebanon’s northern border, risking a wider conflict. Attacks by Hezbollah Israel’s military and rescue services said seven Israeli troops and 10 others were wounded on Sunday.


This story has been edited to read that the Israeli military says 44 soldiers, not 48, were killed in ground operations in Gaza.


Magdy reported from Cairo.


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