Jerusalem, Nov 13, 2023, IANS
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Monday claimed that the Hamas militant group was preventing the staff at Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital from collecting fuel as the largest medical facility in the besieged enclave is rapidly running out of electricity, supplies and food.
In a post on X, the military said: "Our troops risked their lives to hand-deliver 300 liters of fuel to the Shifa hospital for urgent medical purposes. Hamas forbade the hospital from taking it.
"Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry has been warning for weeks that its hospitals are running out of fuel. If so, why would they prevent the hospital from receiving it?'
The IDF also posted a night-cam footage video showing soldiers carrying gallons.
"The IDF is doing everything it can to mitigate harm to Gazan civilians and increase humanitarian aid. Our war is with Hamas—not with the people of Gaza," it said.
But Hamas in a statement denied that it stopped officials at the hospital from collecting the fuel.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday evening, IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said that Israel had "opened designated routes" from hospitals in northern Gaza to the south and was speaking with officials at Al-Shifa to offer "assistance to safely transport the sick and the wounded", the BBC reported.
He added that Israel was "ready to help" evacuate the dozens of babies being cared for at the site to another hospital.
Hagari also alleged that the Hamas had been "preventing and placing pressure on the hospital" not to collect the fuel.
On Sunday night, the World Health Organization (WHO) claimed that it lost all communications with contacts at Al-Shifa Hospital amid repeated Israeli attacks and heavy fighting in the vicinity.
"As horrifying reports of the hospital facing repeated attacks continue to emerge, we assume our contacts joined tens of thousands of displaced people who had sought shelter on the hospital grounds and are fleeing the area," the WHO said in a statement
"There are reports that some people who fled the hospital have been shot at, wounded and even killed."
According to the latest update by the Palestinian Health Ministry, 600-650 inpatients, 200-500 health workers and approximately 1,500 internally displaced people still inside the hospital as of Monday morning.
"Lack of power, water and food, putting lives at immediate risk. There is no safe passage out of the hospital,' it added.
The WHO statement went on to say that the hospital has come under multiple attacks in the past 48 hours, leaving several people dead and many others injured.
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