Dr. Marwan Abusada, a surgeon at al-Shifa Hospital, told NBC News on Sunday that a critical lack of resources means that three babies have died and a further 36 are at immediate risk.
The Gaza Health Ministry, which is affiliated with Hamas, said earlier in the day that three babies had died at the medical facility.
It comes amid growing fears that the hospital could soon lose all power, leading critical health machinery, such as ventilators and incubators, to fail. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, on Sunday said that the medical facility had been lacking electricity and water for three days, “which has severely impacted our ability to provide essential care.”
The Israeli Defense Forces over the weekend denied that Al-Shifa was under siege and said they would help evacuate babies from the hospital. The military force also said it had opened safe routes from a number of health facilities in Gaza.
Abusada said he was not aware that anyone had left the hospital via the IDF evacuation route. A plastic surgeon at the hospital, Dr. Ahmed el-Mokhallalati, also told NBC that he was not aware of anyone departing.
— Katrina Bishop
Hamas on Sunday denied it has refused the offer of 300 liters of fuel from Israeli military intended for the use of the al-Shifa hospital, the largest medical facility of the Gaza Strip.
“The offer belittles the pain and suffering of the patients who are trapped inside without water, food, or electricity. This quantity is not enough to operate hospital generators for more than thirty minutes,” Hamas said, in comments reported by Reuters. The Palestinian militant group added that it was not associated with the management of al-Shifa.
In separate comments on Telegram, the Hamas government accused Israel of deliberately firing at departments of the al-Shifa hospital and injuring a worker who attempted to inspect an electric generator — which CNBC could not independently confirm.
Earlier, the Israel Defense Forces said on social media that it attempted to hand deliver the 300 liters of fuel to al-Shifa for urgent medical purposes, but that the facility was forbidden by Hamas from accepting the supplies. The Israeli military has previously accused Hamas of storing fuel volumes and denying access to them for civilian use.
Hospitals in the Gaza Strip have been slowly going offline, amid ongoing bombardment and the depletion of fuel to operate critical medical equipment. Twenty out of the enclave’s 36 hospitals are now no longer functioning, the U.N. said Friday.
The Israeli military justifies its attacks by saying there are Hamas military positions, personnel and infrastructure on site or nearby hospital units.
— Ruxandra Iordache
The flag of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) flies at half-mast to mourn the lives of UN workers lost during the war between Israel and Hamas, in front of its building in Beijing on November 13, 2023. (Photo by Pedro PARDO / AFP) (Photo by PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images)
Pedro Pardo | Afp | Getty Images
The U.N. is on Monday flying its flags at half mast to pay tribute to deaths of dozens of the agency’s colleagues killed in the conflict in the Gaza Strip. All U.N. offices will observe a minute of silence at 9:30 a.m. local time, wherever they are located.
Last week, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees announced that over 100 of its members had perished.
— Ruxandra Iordache
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference organised by the Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus, on July 3, 2020 at the WHO headquarters in Geneva.
Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | Getty Images
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, said Sunday that the situation at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza has grown increasingly dire and that a cease-fire is necessary to preserve civilian lives.
He said on social media that he had received updates from health care professionals at the hospital.
“It’s been 3 days without electricity, without water and with very poor internet which has severely impacted our ability to provide essential care,” said Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
He added that the number of patient fatalities has increased significantly: “The hospital is not functioning as a hospital anymore.”
Hospitals are supposed to be protected by the standards of international humanitarian law, but speculations about Hamas’ operations within the Al-Shifa hospital have made it a primary target of Israeli attack.
Adhanom Ghebreyesus ended his social media post by demanding a cease-fire “NOW.”
— Rebecca Picciotto
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke Saturday with Qatar’s prime minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, to discuss “ongoing efforts to evacuate the critically wounded and urgently increase the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza,” department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.
“Secretary Blinken and Prime Minister Al Thani also discussed efforts to ensure the safe passage of foreign nationals out of Gaza and the immediate and safe return of all hostages. Secretary Blinken reaffirmed the importance of the strategic partnership between the United States and Qatar,” Miller also said.
— Fred Imbert
The European Union on Sunday demanded an immediate pause in fighting so a humanitarian corridor can be properly established for aid deliveries and civilian evacuation.
An injured Palestinians man gets support to walk as Palestinians leave from the northern part of the Gaza to flee the central and southern parts of the Gaza Strip on November 10, 2023.
Belal Khaled | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
“The E.U. is gravely concerned about the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” the E.U.’s statement read.
The E.U. reiterated its support for Israel to defend itself against Hamas and demanded the release of Hamas’ hostages. It also noted that according to international humanitarian law, hospitals must not become targets of attack.
In recent weeks, the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza has become a central point of combat due to the theory that Hamas is conducting significant operations within it. The hospital has experienced prolonged power outages, putting patients’ lives at risk.
“In this context, we urge Israel to exercise maximum restraint to ensure the protection of civilians,” the E.U. said.
— Rebecca Picciotto
Rescuers and civilians stand amid the rubble of a destroyed building following an Israeli bombardment in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on November 12, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Mahmud Hams | AFP | Getty Images
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Sunday Hamas’ attacks on Israel do not justify the collective punishment of Palestinians.
“You cannot use the horrific things that Hamas did as a reason for collective punishment of the Palestinian people,” Guterres told CNN in an interview, adding that 101 U.N. personnel have died so far in the Hamas-Israel war that erupted after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel.