Home » IDF Closes in on Indonesian Hospital in Gaza as 12 People Reportedly Killed
Africa Crime Global News Israel Middle East News

IDF Closes in on Indonesian Hospital in Gaza as 12 People Reportedly Killed

A dozen people reportedly have been killed at another major medical facility in northern Gaza as Israeli forces close in on the packed Indonesian hospital despite hopes that a ceasefire-for-hostages deal may be agreed.

Video broadcast on Al Jazeera TV on Monday showed damage to what were described as patient facilities, while daytime footage on social media appeared to show Israeli tanks close to the medical complex.

One medical worker, Marwan Abdallah, said the tanks were clearly visible from the hospital windows. “Women and children are terrified. There are constant sounds of explosions and gunfire,” he said.

The ministry of health in Gaza said it believed 12 people had been killed in shelling overnight and that it feared a repeat of what happened at al-Shifa hospital complex, which was surrounded and raided by Israeli forces last week.

There was no immediate comment from the Israel Defense Forces, although in the past the Israeli military said it believed a Hamas tunnel entrance was near to the Indonesian hospital and that missiles were launched into Israel from nearby.

The ministry of health said 700 people, including medical staff, were crowded into the Indonesian hospital, the last hospital operating in northern Gaza. Broadcast footage showed wounded people and sheltering civilians packed into its corridors, seeking treatment or safety from the fighting.

Efforts were being made to coordinate a rescue of patients with the Red Cross, the health ministry said, although it said it had received no commitments from Israel about allowing safe passage. Only 10 out of Gaza’s 36 hospitals remain open, the World Health Organization said on Monday. The Indonesian hospital was coming under “extreme pressure”, the WHO executive director Michael Ryan said.

Retno Marsudi, Indonesia’s foreign minister, said the attack on the hospital “was a clear violation of international humanitarian laws” and urged Israel’s allies to call on it to “stop its atrocities”. The hospital in the far north of the Gaza Strip was established with the help of donations from the south-east Asian country.

Separately, the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said a clinic it operated in Gaza City came under attack on Monday morning. Part of the building was engulfed in flames, it said, and four marked MSF cars were burned while a fifth was found crushed by a heavy vehicle or a tank. The charity said it was not immediately aware of the status of one member of staff and 20 family members.

Israel invaded Gaza at the end of October after a Hamas attack three weeks earlier that killed 1,200 people, most of them civilians. Israel responded with an almost immediate aerial bombardment of the densely populated strip, before launching the ground invasion. In total, more than 13,000 Palestinians have died.

An estimated 1.7 million Palestinians living in Gaza have also been displaced since the start of the war, according to figures from UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) released on Monday. The population of the strip was estimated at 2.3 million before Hamas’s 7 October attack on Israel.

There have been hopes that Israel and Hamas may be edging towards a deal in talks brokered by Qatar that would lead to the release of a significant number of the 240 hostages held by Hamas, possibly in return for a limited ceasefire and the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.

Senior US and Israeli officials and the Qatari prime minister all suggested that an agreement was close on Sunday, although observers have cautioned that public statements during such negotiations are often misleading and any potential deal could easily collapse.

Relief trucks originally from Jordan entered Gaza from Egypt on Monday with the intention of setting up a new field hospital in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. Jordanian state media said it hoped the facility would help ease some of the humanitarian crisis as Israel’s forces seize medical facilities in the north.

In an effort coordinated by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, 28 premature babies were rescued from Shifa hospital and taken to Egypt. Three babies remained in Gaza, two for family reasons and one because the family could not be identified.

The WHO said on Sunday that the hospital had become a “death zone”, with a mass grave at the entrance and only 25 staff left to care for 291 seriously ill patients, who it was feared were too ill to be moved despite the fighting.

Israel says Hamas runs operations from under Shifa, and on Sunday evening it released video footage that it said showed two hostages being taken into the facility on 7 October.

R Adm Daniel Hagari, a spokesperson for the military, released CCTV video that appeared to show two hostages, said to be a Nepali and a Thai man, entering the hospital. One of the two was clearly injured and was being carried on a hospital trolley.

Source: The Guardian