As a result of a power outage, 39 children are at risk of death at Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in the Gaza Strip. Referring to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, where the Palestinian movement Hamas rules, Reuters reported on this today. Due to the fierce fighting in its surroundings, the hospital had to suspend operations, so far five patients, including a premature baby, have died in it, according to the Palestinian authorities.
Israel is conducting military operations in Gaza in response to an October 7 attack in which Hamas militants attacked Israel and killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians. Authorities in Gaza say retaliatory Israeli attacks have since killed more than 11,000 Palestinians, including a number of civilians.
According to Reuters, the Ministry of Health in Gaza also announced that due to a lack of fuel and therefore electricity, the Shifa Hospital is forced to suspend operations.
“The situation is worse than anyone can imagine. We are surrounded inside the Shifa medical complex and the (Israeli) occupation has targeted most of the buildings inside,” Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Kidra told Reuters. According to him, one newborn died in the incubator, where there are 45 children in total, as a result of the interruption of the power supply. According to another spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, a total of five people died in the Shifa hospital due to a power outage from the generators. Claims from the fighting area could not be immediately verified.
According to Reuters, the original information based on a statement by the Palestinian Minister of Health, Maj Kajlova, that 39 children died in the hospital as a result of the interruption of electricity supplies, as well as a lack of oxygen and medicine, was later corrected by the Ministry of Health in Gaza. According to him, the children are only at risk of death.
According to the BBC server, the Israeli army has acknowledged that the area around the Shifa hospital has become the scene of fierce fighting with Hamas militants. The NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said on the X social network tonight that attacks on the Šifa hospital had “intensified dramatically” in the last few hours. She described the situation as catastrophic.
The Israeli military claims that Hamas uses civilians as human shields and hides its infrastructure in and under hospital buildings in Gaza. According to her, this is also the case with the Šífa hospital, where the command center is located. Both Hamas and hospital staff deny these claims.
Thousands of civilians have been sheltering in the hospital compound in recent weeks, but many fled on Friday after shelling killed one person and wounded several others. According to witnesses referred to by the AP agency, thousands of people still remain on the hospital premises.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today that Hamas bears responsibility for any damage caused to civilians. While Israel is urging civilians to leave the fighting areas, “Hamas is doing everything to prevent them from leaving,” Netanyahu added, according to the AP.
The Israeli army said today, according to The Times of Israel, that it killed a Hamas commander who, according to it, was preventing about a thousand civilians from leaving one of the other hospitals in Gaza and was hiding with his fighters in an adjacent school.
Israel is facing international pressure to suspend the fighting and allow aid to be distributed to civilians in the besieged territory. So far, however, he has only agreed to short daily breaks during which civilians can leave the fighting zone in northern Gaza and head south on foot. Since the evacuation pauses were first announced last week, more than 150,000 civilians have fled to the southern Gaza Strip, according to UN monitors. However, tens of thousands more people remain in northern Gaza.