In a distressing turn of events, al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza has been given only one hour to evacuate by Israeli forces. The announcement has caused fear and panic among doctors, patients, and displaced individuals seeking shelter at the medical compound.
A medical source within al-Shifa revealed the impossibility of an immediate evacuation due to the vast number of people currently seeking refuge at the facility. The hospital, which has endured relentless bombardment and siege by Israeli troops, currently houses around 7,000 individuals, including critically ill patients.
The lack of ambulances poses a significant challenge as there are no available means to transfer patients and premature babies to the southern region of Gaza. This dire situation has been deemed a crisis, as the evacuation order fails to account for appropriate transportation methods for such a large number of people.
Among those affected are over 300 patients, many of whom are in critical condition, as well as countless displaced families. Heartbreakingly, at least 35 premature babies have been removed from their incubators for eight days due to the shortage of oxygen and electricity. Tragically, four babies have already lost their lives, and five others remain severely ill.
Compounding the difficulty is the lack of transportation options in Gaza City and the northern regions due to a fuel shortage. Consequently, those seeking evacuation are compelled to do so on foot, a feat deemed impossible by medical professionals given the sheer number of people involved.
To exacerbate matters, the Israeli army has instructed evacuees to use an alternate route, al-Rashid street, instead of the usual Salah al-Din street. However, the army has provided no alternative solutions or means of transportation, leaving patients, premature babies, and displaced families in a state of limbo.
Adding to the distress is the fact that al-Shifa Hospital has been deprived of basic necessities, such as food, water, electricity, and oxygen for over a week. Israeli troops and tanks have conducted incursions into the hospital, alleging the presence of a Hamas command center beneath its premises. However, no evidence has been found to support these claims, with both Hamas and hospital staff vehemently denying any such activities.
This alarming situation continues to unfold, and further updates will follow as events develop.
Why did Israel give al-Shifa Hospital an evacuation ultimatum?
Israel claims that Hamas operates a command center beneath the hospital, but no evidence has been found to support this assertion. The hospital has been under siege by Israeli forces.
What challenges does the hospital face in evacuating?
The hospital houses approximately 7,000 people, including critically ill patients and displaced families. There is a severe shortage of ambulances and fuel for transportation, making an immediate evacuation impossible.
What is the condition of premature babies at al-Shifa Hospital?
Due to the lack of oxygen and electricity, 35 premature babies have been removed from their incubators for eight days. Tragically, some have passed away, while others remain severely ill.