Two of Gaza’s main hospitals remained in a state of complete crisis on Sunday as the Israeli ground invasion left them without fuel or electricity, officials said.
Continued bombardment by Israeli troops on Al-Quds Hospital, which Israel says houses Hamas members beneath the facility, has left it unable to treat its 500 patients, the Palestinian Red Crescent said on Sunday. The hospital also served as shelter for 14,000 people displaced by the bombardment of Gaza City.
“The cessation of services is due to the depletion of available fuel reserves and a power outage,” the Red Crescent said in a statement. The New York Times. He also said medical staff were “doing everything possible to provide care to patients and the injured.”
Intense fighting has also left Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical center, in an increasingly dire situation, with at least eight people, including three newborns, dying there over the weekend. following a power outage, according to the Ministry of Health. . Its operating rooms have also become completely unusable due to lack of electricity, the facility’s director said in an Arabic-language interview, according to CNN.
“The operating theaters are completely out of service, and now the injured come to us and we cannot provide them with anything other than first aid,” said Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya. “The one who needs surgery dies and we can’t do anything for him. »
To make matters worse, Israeli soldiers surrounded the building, where hundreds of sick patients were trapped inside, according to the Times.
The medical association MSF described the situation as a “catastrophic situation”.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Sunday that constant bombing had placed the medical center in “disastrous and perilous” circumstances.
“Tragically, the number of patient deaths has increased significantly,” he wrote on X. “Unfortunately, the hospital no longer functions as a hospital.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Meet the press On Sunday, Israel offered fuel to operate the hospital, but Hamas “refused.”
“I think that every civilian death, every dead baby is a tragedy. But this tragedy must be directly attributed to the responsibility of Hamas, which maintains its military installations in hospitals, its command posts in hospitals, in schools, alongside UNRWA, UN installations, etc. ” Netanyahu said. “So we obviously don’t want to give them immunity. But at the same time, we are sensitive to this issue. So we offered this help. They refused it.
The humanitarian crisis in Gaza’s hospitals has prompted renewed calls for a ceasefire or pause, including from allies such as France and the World Health Organization.
“WHO is once again calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza as the only way to save lives and reduce the horrific levels of suffering,” the organization said in a statement. “Hospitals, patients, healthcare personnel and people housed in healthcare facilities are protected by the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law. »
The conflict has angered citizens on both sides of the war, with thousands of Israelis marching in Tel Aviv on Saturday to urge the country to do more to recover the more than 200 hostages kidnapped by Hamas in the attack from October 7. Five hostages have been freed since the attack, although Israel rejected a deal to release around 50 hostages to begin its ground invasion.
“I’m done with the hugs and empathy phase,” Orli Gilboa, whose daughter Daniela was taken hostage, told the crowd at Saturday’s rally, according to the newspaper. Jerusalem Post. “I want to see actions that will bring my daughter and the abductees home now. »
The Tel Aviv rally coincided with a pro-Palestinian march in London, where authorities estimate around 300,000 people marched through the city in support of the country. The march was somewhat disrupted by far-right counter-protesters who clashed with police, according to The Guardian.