Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Monday denied that the country is striking the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip amid the war with Hamas even as staff at Al-Shifa hospital suggest that the facility, sheltering thousands of Palestinans has run out of electricity.
“Everything is operating” at the hospital,” Herzog told BBC, adding: “We deny this at all, there is a lot of spin by Hamas… but there’s electricity in Shifa, everything is operating.”
Herzog’s statement comes as the hospitals in Gaza have been crippled amid intense Israeli bombings in the coastal strip. The World Health Organisation said that the largest hospital in Gaza has ceased to function while fatalities among patients have been rising.
Quoting a medical staff, Reuters reported that Israeli forces have blockaded hospitals in the northern Gaza, including the al-Shifa complex making it difficult for the hospital staff to barely take care of those inside with three newborns dead at al-Shifa while more were at a risk due to power outages amid intense fighting nearby, according to medical staff.
Palestinian Red Crescent said that the second largest hospital in the besieged enclave, al-Quds, was also out of service, adding that the staff has been struggling to care for those already there with little medicine, food and water, as per the Reuters report.
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Israel has been claiming that the Hamas fighters are sheltering and having their command centres near and under these hospitals, a claim that the Palestinian militant group has denied.
The health professionals at al-Shifa who managed to speak to the WHO described the situation as “dire and perilous”with constant gunfire and bombing exacerbating the already critical circumstances, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, according to the Reuters report.
“Tragically, the number of patient fatalities has increased significantly,” he said in a post on X, adding that Shifa was “not functioning as a hospital anymore” as he joined the global call for an immediate ceasefire.
“The world cannot stand silent while hospitals, which should be safe havens, are transformed into scenes of death, devastation, and despair,” he said.