The ongoing conflict in Gaza has taken a dramatic turn this week, with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announcing a targeted airstrike against a site adjacent to the Al-Quds hospital. On Tuesday, a statement released by the IDF confirmed the strike, which they say was aimed at Hamas operatives believed to be using the building next to the medical facility.
According to the IDF, the strike on the building caused significant secondary explosions, suggesting the presence of a weapons depot in the midst of a civilian area. This military action has sparked considerable concern due to its proximity to the Al-Quds hospital.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has claimed that the Israeli military conducted airstrikes near the hospital on Monday night, with missiles landing about 50 meters from the hospital's entrance.
Impact on Healthcare and Civilians
As the dust settles, the repercussions of the conflict on healthcare infrastructure are becoming starkly evident.
The Palestinian Authority's Minister of Health, Mai Al-Kaila, revealed that more than half of Gaza's hospitals and medical centers are now non-functional. Out of 35 hospitals, 16 are not operational, while 51 of 72 medical centers have ceased their services.
These shutdowns are attributed to several factors, including the dire shortages of fuel, necessary medical supplies, and direct damage from Israeli bombardments. The situation at the Al-Quds hospital, a critical healthcare provider in the region, is particularly dire.
The PRCS has cautioned that the hospital is currently sheltering 14,000 displaced individuals, while simultaneously facing a looming fuel crisis. The organization's statement highlighted the urgency of the situation, indicating that the hospital's fuel reserves were expected to be depleted within 48 hours.
This shortage threatens the continuity of essential services, including life-saving equipment, neonatal incubators, and intensive care units. In response to the increasing dangers, the Israeli military has previously advised civilians in Gaza City to relocate south of Wadi Gaza for their safety.
Despite these advisories, large explosions rocked the vicinity of the Al-Quds hospital on Sunday, leading to casualties and further escalating the humanitarian crisis in the area.