Injured Palestinians, including children, wait to receive medical treatment at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza following an Israeli air strike. (AP Photo)
Israel continues to hit Gaza’s hospitals with barrages of missile strikes, including the enclave’s biggest medical complex, killing civilians, patients, and paramedics.
Israeli warplanes struck a yard at the al-Shifa Hospital complex, where thousands of displaced Palestinians are sheltering.
Israel’s military claims Hamas resistance fighters operate a command centre at the site of the hospital, including entrances to its extensive tunnel network, which Hamas and hospital officials have denied.
Mohammad Abu Salmiya, director general of al-Shifa Hospital, said the strike hit civilians located next to a number of journalists in the yard, leading to a lot of casualties, including critical injuries.
Sometime earlier, the Israeli military bombed a building very close to the hospital.
Many of the hospital’s windows have been broken, and there is fear and anxiety amongst the medics and the patients and the displaced people.
Video of the apparent aftermath of the attack showed several people screaming and scrambling for cover, and an injured civilians lying on the pavement in pools of blood.
Two children’s hospitals, al-Rantisi and al-Nasser, had also been hit by direct attacks and bombardments.
Indonesia’s foreign ministry also reported that explosions overnight damaged the Indonesian Hospital, which sits at the northern end of the enclave with thousands of wounded and displaced Palestinians sheltering nearby.
“Indonesia once again condemns the savage attacks on civilians and civilian objects, especially humanitarian facilities in Gaza,” the ministry said in a statement.
Holding up missile shrapnel, Atef al-Kahlout, the hospital’s director, said: “This is what the occupation is throwing at hospitals: missile shrapnel.
“Let the world bear witness to what the occupation targets are. In 24 hours, the hospital will be out of service. It seems the Israeli occupation forces are not happy with the persistence of the Indonesian Hospital nor the steadfastness of the people of northern Gaza.”
Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch’s Israel and Palestine director, said on social media that medical facilities must be protected and that “no area is a free-fire zone”.
The attack on al-Shifa is the latest in a series of reported strikes on or near the Gaza City hospital in recent days.
Last week, Israel’s military bombed an ambulance outside the hospital, killing 15 people, according to Palestinian officials.
The death toll from Israeli air strikes on Gaza since October 7 has hit over 11,500. Whole families have been wiped out in Israeli aerial bombardment on the densely populated streets of Gaza, where many Palestinians live in multi-generational homes. Whole families have been killed in one blow - and many are still stuck under the rubble.