Gaza's largest hospital, Al-Shifa, is grappling with a severe crisis as Israeli military actions continue to intensify around it. The hospital, already struggling with limited resources, faces a new challenge as its fuel reserves dry up, critically hampering its ability to function.
In an alarming development, the hospital's staff are resorting to extraordinary measures to keep premature babies alive. Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya, the director of Al-Shifa, told Al-Araby TV about the desperate situation. "They are now exposed, because we have taken them out of the incubators.
We wrap them in foil and put hot water next to them so that we can warm them," he explained. This statement paints a harrowing picture of the conditions inside the hospital, where basic necessities like oxygen and incubators are in short supply.
The Human Cost of Conflict
The situation at Al-Shifa is symptomatic of the broader humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza. Images from the hospital show several newborns, removed from incubators due to the lack of power, huddled together in a single bed.
Dr. Abu Salmiya noted that several children had died in the hospital's intensive care unit and nursery in the last day alone. This crisis comes in the wake of continued Israeli bombardment and blockade of Gaza, an area already facing significant economic and infrastructural challenges.
Palestinian health officials report that Israeli airstrikes have killed more than 11,000 people, and the fuel blockade has led to the shutdown of vital services that depend on electricity, such as hospitals, water systems, and bakeries.
Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesperson for the Ministry, stated that the hospital complex was "out of service" after being targeted by Israeli fire. However, an Israeli military spokesperson, speaking to CNN, denied any direct targeting of the northern Gaza medical center and rejected suggestions that the hospital is under siege.
The Israeli military has maintained that Hamas is embedding itself in civilian infrastructure and has stated its intention to strike Hamas "wherever necessary." Both Al-Shifa's doctors and Hamas have denied accusations of the hospital being used for military cover.
As Israel's military action against Hamas escalates, thousands of Palestinians, either injured or displaced, seek refuge in the wards of Al-Shifa, hoping to find shelter from the ongoing airstrikes. This influx further strains the already overwhelmed medical facility, highlighting the urgent need for a resolution to this deepening humanitarian crisis.