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Focus of fight in Gaza shifts to 4 hospitals as Israel suspects their use by Hamas

12:09 AM Nov 12, 2023 IST | SURINDER SINGH OBEROI
focus of fight in gaza shifts to 4 hospitals as israel suspects their use by hamas
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New Delhi, Nov 11: Dr Marwan Abu Saada, a surgeon currently stationed at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, revealed to BBC and other media outlets that the main intensive care unit (ICU) has taken a direct hit. The harrowing sounds of constant shooting and bombardments resonate "every second," painting a grim picture of the situation inside.

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According to Dr. Saada, reported by the media that the hospital is effectively under lockdown—no one is allowed to leave, and entry is prohibited. The difficult circumstances extend to the necessities, with no water, food, or electricity available within the hospital premises. Two patients, including a newborn, have lost their lives, both of whom were on ventilators. Gaza's health ministry confirmed the death of another newborn, highlighting the escalating humanitarian crisis across the main hospitals in Gaza.

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The Gaza health ministry also reported over 11,000 casualties, with more than 4,500 being children. Reuters learned from the health ministry that Al-Shifa, Gaza's largest medical facility, has run out of fuel and operations at the Al-Shifa hospital complex have been suspended.

Cabrizio Carboni, the Middle and Near East regional head of the International Committee of the Red Cross expressed deep concern, stating that the current situation at Al-Shifa Hospital is unsustainable. Thousands of wounded, displaced individuals, and medical staff are at grave risk, necessitating protection in accordance with the laws of war.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) issued a warning about the potential closure of another Al-Quds hospital due to a lack of fuel and medical supplies, putting 500 patients at risk. Intensive care patients and babies relying on incubators face a heightened threat.

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The Israeli military has repeatedly accused Hamas of operating from tunnels beneath the medical facility—an allegation vehemently denied by Hamas. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesperson asserted that while they do not target hospitals, they will take necessary actions if Hamas uses such locations for military purposes.
Adding to the complexity, three other major hospitals in the Gaza Strip find themselves on the front line of Israel's ground invasion, encircled by troops. The Israeli Defence Force claims to have neutralized "terrorist cells," seized control of eleven Hamas posts, and thwarted a vehicle rigged with explosives.

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Furthermore, the IDF reported locating and destroying an underground “terrorist tunnel route”, striking Hamas weapon storage facilities, and targeting military objectives inside the Al Shati Camp. The situation in the region remains highly volatile, with humanitarian concerns escalating as the conflict unfolds.

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FRENCH PRESIDENT URGES ISRAEL TO CEASE CIVILIAN CASUALTIES IN GAZA, ISRAEL'S PRIME MINISTER DEFENDS ACTIONS

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French President Emmanuel Macron has called for an immediate halt to Israel's targeting of civilians in Gaza, emphasizing the need for the protection of innocent lives. In response, the Israeli Prime Minister countered that leaders should focus on condemning Hamas, attributing the conflict to the militant group's attacks on October 7, which resulted in 1,200 deaths and over 200 hostages.

ARAB AND MUSLIM LEADERS CONVENE EMERGENCY SUMMIT IN RIYADH
Leaders from Arab and Muslim nations are gathering in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, for an emergency summit aimed at presenting a unified call to bring an end to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

This summit combines two initially distinct events, the Arab League summit scheduled for Saturday and a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) set for Sunday.

The summit wants an urgent response to the escalating crisis, which has drawn attention and scepticism from various quarters. Palestinian Islamic Jihad, one of the militant groups in Gaza, issued a statement mocking the gathering, questioning the appropriateness of labeling it an emergency when the conflict has persisted for 35 days. The group expressed scepticism anticipating little more than rhetorical commitments from the summit.

Iran's President Raisi is in attendance, marking a significant development following the March reconciliation between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Speaking at Tehran airport, before leaving Riyadh, Iran President Raisi emphasized that the time for mere words had passed and that action was now imperative.

The primary focus of this summit revolves around two critical concerns: putting an end to the loss of lives and suffering among civilians in Gaza and averting the potential escalation of the conflict into a broader regional war. As leaders convene, the international community watches closely, anticipating tangible outcomes.

ISRAEL ARMY GRANTS “SAFE PASSAGE” FOR CIVILIANS IN NORTHERN GAZA FOR THE SEVENTH DAY RUNNING. TACTICAL SUSPENSION OF MILITARY ACTIVITIES AROUND JABALIA REFUGEE CAMP

The Israeli army has announced the continuation of a "safe passage" for civilians in northern Gaza, allowing them to move southwards along Salah al-Din Street until 4 pm (14:00 GMT) today. Due to the fighting in the Shati area, residents are also permitted to use the Strip's coastal road during this period, providing an alternative route.

The military has declared a "tactical suspension of military activities" in the Jabalia refugee camp. This four-hour pause, starting from 10 am (08:00 GMT), is specifically aimed at facilitating the safe evacuation of civilians from the camp. A message from the military urged residents to capitalize on this window of opportunity to move south, emphasizing the widespread combat in the northern Gaza Strip area.

According to the Israeli army, over 100,000 Palestinians have already fled south in the past two days.
There is complete chaos and very little food is available in the shops or with the charity and international organisation outlets in Gaza. Locals complain that they wait for hours together to get a loaf of bread many times and have to come back empty-handed. The shortage of food items is further bringing anger and infight amongst the residents.

Israeli forces have been conducting crackdowns in West Belt Palestinian towns since October 7, resulting in the detention of more than 2,000 Palestinians. The situation remains tense as civilians navigate the complex and perilous conditions to seek safety during the ongoing conflict in the region.

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