The situation in the Middle East is becoming increasingly worrisome as the United States carried out another series of airstrikes in eastern Syria targeting facilities linked to Iran and its allies. Additionally, Israeli forces clashed with Hezbollah fighters at the Lebanon border, raising concerns of a broader conflict.
Amidst this tension, the focus has largely been on the escalating violence in Gaza and the resulting humanitarian crisis.
President Biden stated that the U.S. had consulted with the Israeli government regarding the protection of hospitals. “The position of the United States on this matter is clear,” he emphasized, “Hospitals should be protected.”
Meanwhile, the Israeli military did not directly address inquiries about its actions around Al-Shifa Hospital, stating that it was engaged in a significant battle against Hamas, clarifying that the hospital itself was not a target.
Regarding a separate altercation near Al-Quds Hospital, the Israeli military reported that they had responded to a “terrorist squad” located among civilians at the hospital entrance who had attacked Israeli soldiers. The military claimed to have killed “approximately 21 terrorists,” although this information was not immediately verified.
The Red Crescent Society condemned the Israeli military’s allegations, calling them “false claims” and criticizing the forces for their actions near Al-Quds Hospital.
According to health officials in Gaza, over 11,000 people have died since the conflict began following Hamas’ attacks in Israel, which took an estimated 1,200 lives.
As Israeli forces continue to encroach, medical centers in Gaza City, including Al-Shifa, are struggling to maintain operations due to diminishing supplies of fuel and medicine. The head of the W.H.O. reported that Al-Shifa was no longer functioning as a hospital, facing severe shortages of essential resources.
Jihan Miqdad, an emergency room head nurse at Al-Shifa, described the situation as “catastrophic,” highlighting the challenges facing medical teams and patients alike.
In response to the dire conditions, medical staff are improvising to provide care, resorting to innovative methods to keep premature babies warm after their incubators lost power, including the use of reflective foil and blankets.