The situation in northern Gaza’s only surviving medical facility is dire, as stated by the Health Ministry.
Following artillery fire that killed at least 12 Palestinians on the premises, Israeli tanks have surrounded the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza, according to the war-torn enclave’s Ministry of Health.
“The situation is catastrophic,” said Ashraf al-Qudra, Gaza’s Health Ministry spokesperson, expressing concerns for the hundreds of people trapped inside the Indonesian Hospital.
Al-Qudra added, “The Indonesian Hospital staff are insisting they will stay to treat the wounded. There are about 700 people, including medical staff and injured people, inside the hospital.”
The advance on the facility, built in 2016 with funding from Indonesian organizations, came the day after 31 premature babies were evacuated from al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City by the World Health Organization following an Israeli attack.
Marwan Abdallah, a medical worker at the Indonesian Hospital, described the tension inside, saying Israeli tanks were visible from the windows as they moved around and fired. “Women and children are terrified. There are constant sounds of explosions and gunfire,” Abdallah said.
The Israeli military claims Hamas has built underground infrastructure below hospitals for military usage, which Hamas and medical officials deny.
If the situation in the Indonesian Hospital is any indication, the collapse of health services across northern Gaza is imminent amidst widespread strikes and the scarcity of fuel and medical supplies, as reported by the United Nations humanitarian agency OCHA.
It appears that the Israeli forces had entered the al-Shifa Hospital compound, leaving more than 250 critically ill or injured patients stranded there, including the evacuation of 31 premature babies who had been there since earlier as a result of previous attacks.
Moving forward, hospital staff must deny any claims of armed militants on the premises in ongoing frantic efforts to evacuate civilians and prevent further harm.
In the meantime, the Hamas-run government insists that the death toll from Israel’s aerial bombardment and ground operations in the Palestinian territory has reached 13,000, with thousands of them being children.
Israel launched its offensive against Gaza after a wave of brutal cross-border raids by Hamas on October 7 that resulted in the killing of more than 1,200 people, the majority of whom were civilians, according to Israeli authorities. The situation further escalated with 7,000 people inside the territory’s largest health facility being evacuated at gunpoint after being under siege for several days.
Note: The above information is based on the latest news and may be subjected to change as the situation unfolds.