Israel army: Allowing civilian passage from al-Shifa, al-Rantisi, al-Nasser hospitals

The Israeli army said on Sunday it is enabling safe passage from al-Shifa, al-Rantisi and al-Nasser hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip and opened an additional passage to enable civilians to evacuate southwards.

“In recent days, a senior officer in Israel’s Coordination and Liaison Administration to Gaza spoke with the manager of the Shifa Hospital multiple times and presented him with possible passages from the hospital,” the Israeli military said in a statement.

The Israeli army said its soldiers opened and secured a passage which enables the civilian population to evacuate, on foot and by ambulances, from the Shifa, Rantisi and Nasser hospitals.

The army said: “The Hamas terrorist organization continues to use civilian structures in the Gaza Strip, including hospitals, for its terrorist activity.”

Over the weekend, Palestinian officials said that fighting intensified near Gaza City’s overloaded hospitals.

“The Israeli military continues its relentless bombardment and military siege of the Al Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City, largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, amid warnings of an imminent humanitarian catastrophe in the complex where thousands of patients and wounded and displaced people are trapped,” state news agency WAFA reported on Sunday.

The Palestinian authorities said that since Friday, “anyone moving between the buildings of the complex or even trying to leave has been targeted by Israeli gunfire.” They added that al-Shifa complex “has been directly targeted by Israeli airstrikes, accompanied by heavy artillery fire and continuous drone activity.”

“This has prevented the evacuation of displaced individuals, the wounded, patients, medical teams, and paramedics who remain trapped inside without electricity, food, water, or fuel,” according to WAFA, which added: “The ambulance teams have been unable to reach them for evacuation due to the intensity of the Israeli bombardment and gunfire.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Saturday: “The healthcare system in Gaza has reached a point of no return risking the lives of thousands of wounded, sick and displaced people.”

It added: “Children’s hospitals have not been spared from the violence, including al-Nasser Hospital, heavily damaged by the hostilities, and al-Rantisi Hospital, which has had to cease its operations.”

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