Over 11,000 Palestinians killed, hospitals overwhelmed amid Israeli offensive
Muslim Network TV Desk
GAZA CITY, Palestine – Israeli airstrikes have intensified across Gaza, causing catastrophic damage to vital healthcare facilities, including the destruction of the main cardiac ward at Gaza’s largest hospital.
The Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza and Khan Younis in the southern strip have been subjected to relentless bombardment.
In the past 24 hours alone, the death toll has surged to 50.
The situation has deteriorated further as Israeli forces have reached the gates of al-Shifa Hospital, trapping hundreds of patients, including numerous infants, inside.
The lack of energy resources amidst the ongoing conflict has resulted in the deaths of at least 32 patients, among them three premature babies.
The closure of Gaza’s two largest hospitals, al-Shifa and al-Quds, has plunged the region into a severe healthcare crisis. Israeli snipers targeting the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital have effectively trapped thousands of residents, creating a dire humanitarian situation.
Gaza’s Health Ministry reports that the hospital death toll now includes 27 adults and seven infants, a grim reflection of the targeted attacks on healthcare facilities.
Palestinian Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf Al Qidra revealed seven patients in intensive care had lost their lives at the medical facility, the largest in Gaza, on Sunday.
“They all died as a result of Israel’s refusal to allow fuel for the hospital,” he said.
“There are still 33 premature babies at the hospital.”
Approximately 650 patients, 500 healthcare workers, and 2,500 displaced people remain trapped inside al-Shifa Hospital.
Nearly 200 families in the vicinity are unable to leave their homes.
Additionally, about 100 bodies are decomposing in the hospital’s courtyard.
The loss of lives extends to journalists as well, with Palestinian journalist Ahmad Fatima reportedly killed in an airstrike, contributing to the growing number of over 40 journalists killed since the conflict’s escalation.
On the Israeli side, the Defense Forces (IDF) said they have conducted over 4,300 attacks against Gaza, targeting tunnel shafts and alleged terrorist infrastructure.
The conflict has not only devastated lives but also infrastructure, with thousands of buildings, including hospitals, being destroyed or damaged.
Violence in West Bank
In the continuing violence in West Bank Israeli forces shot and killed an elderly Palestinian man during a raid on the offices of an orphan charity in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Monday.
Issa Ali al-Qadi, 66, was shot in the head by Israeli forces while driving his taxi near the charity, eyewitnesses told local media. He died instantly.
Israeli troops had descended on al-Haouz neighbourhood in Hebron and stormed the charity.
Eyewitnesses said soldiers opened fire randomly at passing cars during the raid, in an area that had not recently witnessed confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinians.
The international community has responded with grief and condemnation, as evident by U.N. compounds worldwide lowering their flags to half-mast to honor the 101 U.N. workers killed in the attacks.
In a desperate plea for aid, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has urged the European Union and the United Nations to provide emergency support to the beleaguered Gaza Strip.
“I call on the United Nations and the European Union to parachute aid into the Gaza Strip, especially the north,” he said, referring to the area where the IDF ground offensive is underway.
Turkish vessel with aid
Meanwhile, aid from various countries, including a Turkish vessel carrying supplies for field hospitals, is attempting to reach the affected areas through Egypt’s port of El Arish.
The dire situation in Gaza is further compounded by the ongoing violence in the West Bank, with Israeli forces conducting extensive raids and resulting in additional casualties.
As the international community calls for humanitarian pauses and the urgent need for fuel and medical supplies, the situation in Gaza remains critical, with no immediate end to the conflict in sight.
The EU’s humanitarian aid chief called on Monday for “meaningful” pauses in the fighting in Gaza and urgent deliveries of fuel to keep hospitals working in the territory.
“It is urgent to define and respect humanitarian pauses,” Janez Lenarčič, European commissioner for crisis management, told a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers in Brussels.
“Fuel needs to get in. As you could see, more than half of the hospitals in the Gaza Strip stopped working, primarily because of lack of fuel, and fuel is desperately needed.”
The EU’s 27 countries issued a statement Sunday saying hospitals “must be protected” and condemning Hamas for using the medical facilities and civilians as “human shields”.
The UN Palestinian refugee agency’s fuel depot in Gaza has run dry and within a few days UNRWA will no longer be able to resupply hospitals, remove sewage and provide drinking water, its chief said on Monday.
The agency chief, commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini, told donors on Monday that it had been slowly emptying a fuel depot on the Israeli border containing strategic reserves.
A request to the Israeli military to replenish it had gone unanswered, he said. “That reservoir is now empty,” Reuters reports Lazzarini said.
“If we project out a couple of days, by 14 November this will severely impact ambulances and major hospital operations. Some of them have a bit of solar, but it is marginal” he said.
UNRWA says it is sheltering nearly 800,000 people, or about half of the total number of Palestinians who have fled their homes since the Israeli military campaign began on 7 October.
UNRWA’s fuel is also used to remove hundreds of tonnes of solid waste from increasingly overcrowded camps in southern Gaza, and Lazzarini said these services would soon halt.
Without fuel, desalination plants used to provide drinking water to support at least 290,000 people will also stop on 15 November, he added.
U.S. President Joe Biden, in a conversation with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Sunday regarding developments in Gaza, concurred that all hostages held by Hamas should be released “without further delay,” as stated by the White House.
The Pentagon said that the United States conducted two airstrikes in Syria against Iran and its affiliated groups on Sunday. This action is part of the ongoing response to a series of attacks targeting American forces in both Syria and Iraq.
More than 11,180 Palestinians have been killed, including over 7,700 children and women, in Israel’s air and ground attacks and nearly 28,200 others injured, according to the latest official figures by Palestinian authorities.
The Israeli death toll is nearly 1,200, according to official figures.