Palestinian Red Crescent reports shelling, ‘violent explosions’ near Al-Quds hospital

Heavy gunfire and violent explosions were heard in the vicinity of the Al-Quds hospital in Gaza City, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reported on Monday.

“Heavy gunfire continued in the vicinity of Al-Quds Hospital, in Tal Al-Hawa, Gaza City. Shelling and violent explosions were heard in [the] area,” the humanitarian organization said on X, formerly Twitter.

The organization also said a convoy of vehicles heading to the hospital from the southern Gaza Strip to evacuate patients and medical staff from the medical facility was stopped in the al-Wusta Governorate.

The NGO did not reveal why the convoy, accompanied by the International Committee of the Red Cross, was stopped.

The PRSC said on Monday afternoon it was waiting for the situation to “settle down” in the areas surrounding the Al-Quds Hospital to start the evacuation process.

Al-Quds Hospital, the second largest hospital in Gaza, ceased operations on Sunday due to fuel shortage as Israeli forces continued to shell the besieged enclave, PRCS said.

Major hospitals in northern Gaza, including the largest Al-Shifa hospital, have been cut off by Israel’s military attack against Hamas, endangering the lives of babies and critical patients at these medical facilities.

Dead people on streets

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it lost all communication with staff members inside the Al-Shifa hospital on Monday. The group, while reiterating calls for an immediate ceasefire, expressed concerns for critical patients and displaced civilians trapped in the facility.

MSF warned of hostilities around the Al-Shifa Hospital, citing colleagues in Gaza City.

“We are worried for their lives,” the organization said on Sunday.

MSF staff members said there are “dead people on the streets,” shot and injured, but the organization has been unable to help them because it is “too dangerous to go outside.”

 Bodies of people killed in a reported Israeli strike, lie on the ground in the vicinity of Gaza City's Al-Shifa hospital compound on November 10, 2023.  (AFP)
Bodies of people killed in a reported Israeli strike, lie on the ground in the vicinity of Gaza City’s Al-Shifa hospital compound on November 10, 2023.

Hundreds of patients were reportedly trapped on Monday, and thousands sought shelter in and around Gaza’s largest hospital as Israeli troops surrounded the facility.

Citing witnesses, AFP reported on Sunday that “violent fighting” raged throughout the night as Israeli forces confronted Hamas militants.

The sounds of small arms fire and aerial bombardments were echoing across the sprawling hospital complex amid reports that the infirm – including children – were dying of lack of basic provisions, the news agency reported.

Rising death toll at Al-Shifa

Meanwhile, the death toll at Al-Shifa Hospital rose to 34 as of Monday, according to the Hamas-run Palestinian health ministry.

Citing the deputy health minister in the Gaza Strip, the latest toll included 27 adult intensive care patients and seven babies.

Israel says Hamas has placed command centers under and near hospitals and it needs to get to them to free around 200 hostages the militants took in Israel in an attack just over a month ago. Hamas has denied using hospitals in this way.

Israel’s indiscriminate bombing campaign has so far killed at least 11,180 Palestinians in Gaza, including 4,609 children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Israel declared a complete siege on Gaza following Hamas’ deadly October 7 attack that Israel says killed 1,400 people and saw more than 200 taken hostage.

International human rights organizations have described Israel’s attacks on Gaza as “collective punishment,” which is considered a war crime under international law.

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