Smoke billows in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, as seen from Sderot, Israel, 10 November 2023. EFE/EPA/NEIL HALL

Israel lays siege to major Gaza hospitals

Jerusalem, Nov 10 (EFE) – Israel on Friday began surrounding several major hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip, including the Al Shifa medical center, where at least 20 people were killed in an Israeli attack.

The attack on Al Shifa hospital, reported by the Hamas-controlled Gaza government’s communications office, coincides with the siege of other hospitals in northern Gaza, such as the Al Rantisi children’s hospital, located near a psychiatric hospital, and an ophthalmology center.

The Gaza Health Ministry, also controlled by Hamas, said the Indonesian hospital was left without electricity, water or communications.

In addition, the Palestinian Red Crescent reported “violent clashes” in the area of Al Quds Hospital, resulting in at least one death and at least 20 wounded among displaced people sheltering in the medical center.

A spokesman for the Gaza Red Crescent said that due to the lack of electricity caused by the fuel shortage affecting many hospitals, teams at medical centers such as Al Quds are “working with minimal resources”, without light and with “continuous interruptions in communications and internet for the third day in a row.”

The UN humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths, reacted to the events on the social network X, formerly Twitter, saying that “horrific reports” had come out of Gaza about the attack on Al Shifa hospital, and asserting that “acts of war in places of grace must stop” and insisting that “under international humanitarian law, hospitals must be protected.

In addition, an explosion in a public school in Gaza City on Friday killed between 25 and 50 people, which according to medical and governmental sources was caused by an Israeli bombing. The granddaughter of Hamas political leader Ismael Haniyeh was one of the victims.

A Hamas government source told EFE that the number of dead in the attack on the school center in Gaza’s Al Naser neighborhood, where internally displaced people were sheltering, could reach 50, while the director of Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital said there were at least 25 dead who arrived at the medical center.

Palestinians evacuating to the southern Gaza Strip, make their way along Salah al-Din Street in Bureij, 10 November 2023. EFE/EPA/HAITHAM IMAD

More than 11,000 killed and nearly 2,700 missing

The death toll in Gaza from Israeli shelling after 35 days of war topped 11,000 on Friday, with 2,700 missing “under the rubble” and nearly 27,500 wounded, sources in the Hamas-controlled enclave’s health ministry said.

“The number of those killed by the Israeli aggression rose to 11,078, including 4,506 children, 3,027 women and 678 elderly,” while “27,490 citizens were wounded,” with injuries of varying severity, health spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra reported.

The same source added that in the last few hours, “Israel has committed 12 major massacres, claiming the lives of 260 people,” while there are also at least 2,700 missing, including 1,500 children “who are still under the rubble.”

The Israel Defense Forces claimed that dozens of militiamen were being killed every day as a result of the fighting and attacks in Gaza.

A military spokeswoman said Friday afternoon that an armored brigade had also attacked Hamas militiamen in Gaza’s beachfront areas, “taking control of their strongholds” in the northern sector.

In a related development, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on Friday lamented that more than 100 of its workers in Gaza have died in the past month as a result of Israel’s heavy shelling of the Gaza Strip.

“Devastated. Over 100 UNRWA colleagues confirmed killed in month. Parents, teachers, nurses, doctors, support staff. UNRWA is mourning,” the UN agency’s commissioner general, Philippe Lazzarini, posted on social media.

According to UNRWA, this is the highest number of UN humanitarian workers killed in a conflict in the organization’s history. EFE