Gaza: Indonesian Hospital Under Siege



by FARUK IMAMOVIC

Gaza: Indonesian Hospital Under Siege
© Getty Images News/Abid Katib

Tragedy Strikes Northern Gaza

The Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza's Beit Lahiya town has become the epicenter of a humanitarian crisis following an Israeli artillery attack. The Gaza Health Ministry reported the death of at least 12 Palestinians in the complex, with hundreds more trapped inside.

Ashraf al-Qudra, the spokesperson for Gaza’s Health Ministry, described the situation at the hospital as "catastrophic" to Al Jazeera. The Israeli military has not commented on the incident. Approximately 700 people, including medical staff and injured individuals, are currently inside the Indonesian Hospital.

Staff members are committed to staying and treating the wounded, despite the perilous conditions. According to reports from the Palestinian news agency Wafa, efforts are underway to evacuate civilians from the area amidst the chaos.

International Condemnation and Ground Realities

The attack on the hospital, which was established in 2016 with funding from Indonesian organizations, has drawn international condemnation. Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi strongly condemned Israel's actions, calling them a "clear violation of international humanitarian laws." She urged countries with close ties to Israel to exert their influence to halt these atrocities.

Marwan Abdallah, a medical worker at the hospital, provided a harrowing account of the situation. From the hospital windows, Israeli tanks are visible, moving and firing. The sounds of explosions and gunfire have created an atmosphere of terror, particularly among women and children.

Abdallah reported that the hospital received dozens of casualties from overnight air raids and shelling. This escalation comes a day after the World Health Organization evacuated 31 premature babies from al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

The ongoing offensive in Gaza, which Israel launched following a series of cross-border raids by Hamas on October 7, has resulted in significant civilian casualties. While Israeli authorities report over 1,200 deaths, the majority civilians, the Hamas-run government in the Palestinian territory claims the death toll from Israel's operations has reached 13,000, including thousands of children.