By WAFAA SHURAFA and SAMY MAGDY (Associated Press)
KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian authorities on Tuesday referred to as for a cease-fire to evacuate three dozen newborns and different sufferers trapped inside Gaza’s largest hospital as Israeli forces battle Hamas within the streets simply exterior and seize extra floor throughout northern Gaza.
For days, the Israeli military has encircled Shifa Hospital, decided to grab the power it says Hamas hides in, and beneath, to make use of civilians as shields for its primary command base.
Hospital workers and Hamas deny the declare. Meanwhile, lots of of sufferers, workers and displaced persons are trapped inside, with provides dwindling and with out electrical energy to run incubators and different life-saving tools. With refrigeration out for days, workers on Tuesday had been digging a mass grave within the yard for greater than 120 our bodies within the morgue, well being officers stated. Hamas has been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, Canada and the European Union.
Six weeks into the battle, the standoff at Shifa and different hospitals comes as Israeli forces management bigger swaths of Gaza City and the encircling northern a part of the Gaza Strip, saying they’re driving out and killing Hamas.
Israel has vowed to crush Hamas rule in Gaza after the terrorists’ Oct. 7 shock assault into Israel by which they killed some 1,200 folks and dragged roughly 240 hostages again to Gaza. But whilst its troops management extra of a devastated north Gaza, the Israeli authorities has acknowledged it doesn’t know what it should do with the territory after Hamas’ defeat.
The onslaught – one of many world’s deadliest and most intense bombardments this century — has been disastrous for Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinians.
More than 11,000 folks, two-thirds of them girls and minors, have been killed, in accordance with the Health Ministry of the Hamas-run territory — which has been unable to replace its figures since Friday, citing the issue of gathering data. About 2,700 folks have been reported lacking. The ministry’s depend doesn’t differentiate between civilian and militant deaths.
Almost your entire inhabitants of Gaza has squeezed into the southern two-thirds of the tiny territory, the place circumstances have been deteriorating whilst bombardment there continues. About 200,000 fled the north in latest days amid the intensifying preventing, the U.N. humanitarian workplace stated Tuesday. Tens of 1000’s are believed to stay within the north.
Hamas launched a video late Monday exhibiting one of many hostages, who identifies herself as 19-year-old Noa Marciano, earlier than and after she was killed in what Hamas stated was an Israeli strike. The navy later declared her a fallen soldier, with out figuring out a explanation for loss of life.
She is the primary hostage confirmed to have died in captivity. Four had been launched by Hamas and a fifth was rescued by Israeli forces.
PLIGHT OF HOSPITALS
Fighting has raged for days round Shifa Hospital, a fancy a number of metropolis blocks throughout on the heart of Gaza City that has now “turned into a cemetery,” its director stated in an announcement.
The Health Ministry stated 40 sufferers, together with three infants, have died since Shifa’s emergency generator ran out of gasoline Saturday. Another 36 infants are prone to dying as a result of there is no such thing as a energy for incubators, in accordance with the ministry.
The Israeli navy stated it had began an effort to switch incubators to Shifa. But they’d be ineffective with out electrical energy, stated Christian Lindmeier, a spokesman for the World Health Organization. He stated the one solution to save the newborns was to maneuver them out of Gaza.
“Another hospital under siege or under attack is not a viable solution. Nowhere is safe in Gaza right now,” he advised The Associated Press. He stated an evacuation would require specialised tools and a cease-fire alongside the route.
The Health Ministry has proposed evacuating the hospital with the supervision of the International Committee of the Red Cross and transferring the sufferers to hospitals in Egypt, however has not obtained any response, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra stated.
While Israel says it’s keen to permit workers and sufferers to evacuate, some Palestinians who’ve made it out say Israeli forces have fired at evacuees. U.N. and Palestinian well being officers say it’s too harmful to maneuver essentially the most weak sufferers with out correct ambulances and tools.
Israel says its claims of a Hamas command heart in and beneath Shifa are primarily based on intelligence however has not offered visible proof to assist them. Denying the claims, the Gaza Health Ministry says it has invited worldwide organizations to research the power.
On Monday, the navy launched footage of a kids’s hospital in Gaza City that its forces entered over the weekend, exhibiting weapons it stated it discovered inside, in addition to rooms within the basement the place it believes terrorists had been holding hostages. The video confirmed what seemed to be a swiftly put in bathroom and air flow system within the basement.
The Health Ministry rejected the allegations, saying the realm had been was a shelter for displaced folks.
BATTLE IN GAZA CITY
Independent accounts of the preventing in Gaza City have been almost inconceivable to assemble, as communications to the north have largely collapsed.
Videos launched by the Israeli navy present troops shifting by means of town, firing into buildings. Bulldozers push down constructions as tanks roll by means of streets surrounded by rubble and partially collapsed towers.
The movies painting a battle the place troops are rooting out pockets of Hamas fighters and tearing down wherever they discover them. The navy says additionally it is regularly dismantling the group’s tunnel community.
Israel says it has killed a number of thousand fighters, together with vital mid-level commanders, whereas 46 of its personal troopers have been killed in Gaza. The navy says Hamas has misplaced management within the north, and in latest days Hamas rocket fireplace into Israel — fixed all through the battle — has waned. Details of the Israeli account and the extent of Hamas losses, nevertheless, couldn’t be independently confirmed.
One Israeli commander in Gaza, recognized solely as Lt. Col. Gilad, stated in a video that his forces close to Shifa Hospital had been seizing authorities buildings, colleges and residential buildings the place they discovered weapons and eradicated fighters. After every was cleared, “the location was demolished,” he stated.
The military stated it had captured Gaza’s legislature constructing — about two blocks from Shifa — the Hamas police headquarters and a compound housing Hamas’ navy intelligence headquarters. The captured buildings carry excessive symbolic worth, although it was unclear what their strategic worth is. Hamas is believed to be positioned in underground bunkers.
Israeli information websites confirmed photos of troopers holding up the Israeli flag and navy flags in celebration inside a number of the buildings.
DETERIORATING CONDITIONS IN THE SOUTH
Israel has urged civilians within the north to flee south, however southern Gaza is just not a lot safer. Israel carries out frequent airstrikes all through Gaza, hitting what it says are militant targets however typically killing girls and youngsters.
Some 1.5 million Palestinians, greater than two thirds of Gaza’s inhabitants, have fled their houses, and U.N.-run shelters within the south are severely overcrowded.
People stand in line for hours for scarce bread and brackish water. Trash is piling up, sewage is flooding the streets and faucets run dry as a result of there is no such thing as a solution to energy water techniques. Israel has barred gasoline imports because the begin of the battle, saying Hamas would use it for navy functions.
At a tent camp exterior a hospital within the central city of Deir al-Balah, folks trudged by means of mud as they stretched plastic tarps over flimsy tents.
“All of these tents collapsed because of the rain,” stated Iqbal Abu Saud, who had fled Gaza City with 30 of her kinfolk. “How many days will we have to deal with this?”
The U.N. company for Palestinian refugees, which is struggling to offer fundamental companies to over 600,000 folks sheltering in colleges and different amenities within the south, stated it might run out of gasoline by Wednesday, forcing it to halt most help operations. It stated it might not import restricted provides of meals and drugs by means of Egypt’s Rafah crossing, Gaza’s solely hyperlink to the surface world.
Jeffery and Keath reported from Cairo. Associated Press author Amy Teibel in Jerusalem, Wafaa Shurafa in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip; Samy Magdy in Cairo. contributed to this report.
Full AP protection at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.