Israeli tanks have encircled a local hospital, plunging it into a dire humanitarian crisis. Mustafa al-Kahlout, the director of the Al Nasr and Al Rantisi Pediatric hospitals in northern Gaza, relayed the distressing situation to CNN.
"We are completely surrounded, there are tanks outside the hospital, and we cannot leave," al-Kahlout expressed his despair. The hospitals, situated near the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood and Al Shati camp, now find themselves at the epicenter of the ground conflict between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas.
The situation in these medical facilities is deteriorating rapidly. "We do not have electricity, no oxygen for the patients, we do not have medicine and water," al-Kahlout stated, painting a grim picture of the conditions inside.
His plea for help underscores the urgency of the situation, as he seeks assistance from the Red Cross for an evacuation.
Strikes Near Healthcare Facilities Raise Alarm
This critical situation comes in the wake of reported strikes near at least two other hospitals in northern Gaza.
Al Awda hospital, in a distressing Facebook statement, revealed the consequences of the nearby strikes: ten of its employees injured, significant infrastructure damage, and nine vehicles, including two ambulances, completely destroyed.
Similarly, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reported injuries to one of their volunteers and damage to two ambulances, following a strike near Al Awda hospital. Images and a video shared by PRCS show two ambulances with shattered windscreens, a testament to the violence that has spilled over into areas meant for healing and care.
While the IDF has not directly commented on these specific incidents, they have urged civilians to move south of Wadi Gaza, a critical waterway. This directive comes as the IDF intensifies its assault on Gaza City and the northern parts of the territory.
The IDF maintains that Hamas is using civilian infrastructure for its operations, vowing to strike "wherever necessary." This escalation in the Gaza Strip highlights a tragic reality: in conflicts, it is often the most vulnerable – patients and medical staff in this case – who bear the brunt of the violence.