Tanks are around a hospital in Gaza. Israel hit other places that help sick people

Palestinian officials say Israeli air strikes hit Gaza hospitals and school
Palestinian officials say Israeli air strikes hit Gaza hospitals and school - Getty Image

As Israeli tanks encircled a Gaza hospital, its director spoke to a News, saying that other medical centers in the Strip were also hit by strikes, sparking concerns Friday that Israel’s military operation is putting more lives at risk in the blockaded territory.

The director of Al Nasr hospital and Al Rantisi Pediatric hospital in northern Gaza, Mustafa al-Kahlout, said that they were trapped and appealed to the Red Cross for help with getting out. “We are totally cut off, there are tanks around the hospital, and we are stuck here,” al-Kahlout said.

The hospital compound is near Sheikh Radwan area and Al Shati camp, where both the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas reported clashes. “We have no power, no oxygen for the patients, no medicine and water,” al-Kahlout said. “We are in the dark about our destiny.”

His plea came after at least two other hospitals in northern Gaza were reportedly struck.

Al Awda hospital said on Facebook that because of the “attack (on) the area of Al Awda Hospital… and the area of the Indonesian Hospital” by Israeli forces, 10 of its staff were wounded, facilities were damaged and nine vehicles were affected.

This involved “two ambulances that were totally destroyed,” the hospital said.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reported that a strike near Al Awda hospital damaged two of their ambulances and wounded one of their volunteers. They also posted pictures and a video of the smashed vehicles in what looked like the hospital’s parking lot. It was not clear if these were the same ambulances that the hospital mentioned in its statement. Woven Design Zari Linen Silk Banarasi Saree – Linen-Saree Woven Design Zari Linen Silk Banarasi Saree – Linen-Saree Ad Mirraw Designs The IDF did not respond to the incidents but urged civilians to move south of Wadi Gaza, a stream that splits the Strip in half, as it escalated its attack on Gaza City and the north of the area. The IDF claimed that Hamas was hiding in civilian buildings and that it would hit Hamas “wherever needed.”

‘Under attack’ Some social media videos showed people hurt in what was called the walk-in clinic of al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

It was not known what hit the hospital, but the videos showed injured people on the floor of the outdoor clinic. Witnesses in the videos said it was strikes on the place. We could not confirm it was strikes and contacted the IDF.

A World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson said on Friday that al-Shifa was “under attack,” and that 20 hospitals in the Gaza Strip were “not working.”

When asked about a possible Israeli airstrike on al-Shifa hospital on Friday, WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris said in a briefing: “I don’t have the information on al-Shifa but we know they are under attack.”

Israel started its assault inside Gaza, after the October 7 Hamas attacks that killed 1,400 people in Israel. The Israeli military has increased its operation on northern Gaza in the last few days, effectively dividing the area in two, with its ground forces and most intense aerial bombing focused on the north.

But the effect on health facilities has raised worries about the terrible humanitarian situation for those who stay in northern Gaza. Most of the hospitals in Gaza – 18 out of 35 – have stopped working, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, which gets data from the Hamas-run territory, said on Thursday.

Also, 71% of all primary-care facilities have closed because of damage or lack of fuel, the ministry said. Its statement said that the hospitals that are still open are limited in what they can offer and are slowly closing down wards.

Volker Türk, the highest United Nations human rights official, on Friday also questioned Israel’s one-sided creation of “safe zones” in Gaza, saying that no place within the area was safe for civilians.

The assault has killed more than 11,000 Palestinians so far, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah. Groups of Palestinians – including women, children and the old – are moving south in a growing escape along daily evacuation routes announced by the Israeli military.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday said that “too many Palestinians have died, too many have suffered these past weeks” – one of his strongest criticisms of the civilian cost that the Israeli assault has taken in Gaza.

Israeli forces reportedly surround 3 Gaza hospitals housing Hamas