Israel denies attacking Gaza hospital as many newborns at risk of death
Five patients including a baby died after ops suspended: Reports
Amid Israeli troops targeting hospitals in Gaza, many have run out of fuel making the situation ‘catastrophic’. According to Gaza Health Ministry, operations have been suspended in al-Shifa, biggest hospital in Gaza City, after it ran out of fuel.
“As a result, one newborn baby died inside the incubator, where there are 45 babies,” Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesperson for the health ministry told Reuters. Meanwhile, al-Shifa hospital head said they were minutes away from imminent death. Patients are dying “by the minute,” said al-Shifa hospital director, Muhammad Abu Salmiya to Al Jazeera.
According to al-Shifa hospital authorities, missiles pounded the hospital on Friday. Meanwhile, Israel forces denied firing al-Shifa hospital. An Israeli defence official on Saturday said forces are not firing on al-Shifa hospital but there are clashes with Hamas militants around it.
“All I can say is that we’ve started to lose lives. Patients are dying by the minute, victims and wounded are also dying – even babies in the incubators...We lost a baby in the incubator, we also lost a young man in the intensive care unit. The hospital compound is cordoned off and the buildings of the hospital are targeted. Any moving person within the compound is targeted. The Israeli occupation forces are outside, preventing any person to move,” he said.
“We are totally cut off from the whole world, we are minutes away from imminent death,” Salmiya added. Over 50,000 people have taken shelter near al-Shifa hospital. Hospital authorities also added they have run of power, internet and medical supplies.
International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC), Robert Mardini, has said the organisation is “shocked and appalled” by the images and reports emerging from al-Shifa hospital in Gaza. “The unbearably desperate situation must stop now,” he said.
After the generator shut down, five patients have died, said officials. Israel has been targeting the main hospital as they alleged that Hamas militants were hiding in hospitals making civilians as human shields. According to Medhat Abbas, a spokesman for the Health Ministry, the hospital had cared for 37 premature infants in total. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said the responsibility for any harm to civilians lies with Hamas.
Arab leaders holds emergency summit today
Amid intensifying Israel-Hamas war, the Arab leaders called on for an immediate end to military operations in Gaza and held Israel responsible for ‘crimes’ against Palestinians. At the Islamic-Arab summit in Riyadh, Saudi’s crown prince sought measures to influence US and Israel for an end to hostilities in Gaza.
Saudi’s crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman condemned the acts and rejected the “barbaric war” waged against “our brothers in Palestine”. “We are facing a humanitarian catastrophe that proves the failure of the Security Council and the international community to put an end to the flagrant Israeli violations of international laws," said Mohammed in his address.
The official Saudi Press Agency reported the move underscores the importance of reaching “a unified collective position that expresses the common Arab and Islamic will regarding the dangerous and unprecedented developments witnessed in Gaza and the Palestinian territories.”
The Arab League aims to demonstrate “how the Arabs will move on the international scene to stop the aggression, support Palestine and its people, condemn the Israeli occupation and hold it accountable for its crimes”, the bloc’s assistant secretary-general, Hossam Zaki said.
Also, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that time had come for action over the conflict in Gaza rather than talk as he headed to Saudi Arabia to attend a summit on the crisis. “Gaza is not an arena for words. It should be for action,” Raisi said at Tehran airport before departing for Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.
“Today, the unity of the Islamic countries is very important,” he added. The joint Islamic-Arab summit is expected to strongly condemn Israel's campaign in Gaza and call for a halt to forced displacement of Palestinians here.
Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, are among those who will be attending. “The war machine in Gaza belongs to the US,” said Raisi. “The US has prevented the ceasefire in Gaza and is expanding the scope of the war,” he added.
Middle East leaders have called for a ceasefire while warning the conflict risks drawing in other countries. Also, the French President Emmanuel Macron has called on Israel to stop killing babies, women and elderly people in Gaza. Macron told BBC that there is "no justification" for the Israeli bombing of babies, women and elderly people on Gaza.
(With agencies input)