At least twelve people have died in recent hours in attacks by the Israeli army against the Indonesian hospital in Gaza, the last operational health center in the north of the Strip. The Gaza Ministry of Health assures that dozens of Israeli tanks surrounded the hospital this morning and are targeting it with artillery shells. The Health Ministry spokesperson described the situation as “catastrophic”, since there are about 700 people inside the building, including patients, medical personnel and dozens of refugees from the northern part of the enclave. Until a few hours ago, the health center was still admitting new patients, although like the other hospitals in the Strip, it suffers from a serious shortage of fuel, food and medical supplies to care for patients.
Meanwhile, members of the Red Crescent and the World Health Organization (WHO) successfully transferred the 31 newborns from Al Shifa hospital – in Gaza City – to the Al-Helal al Emarati mother and child center in Rafah, the gates of the border with Egypt. The transfer began this weekend, when the Israeli army allowed several humanitarian organizations to enter Al Shifa to evacuate the last patients, after laying siege to the building and forcing the transfer of medical personnel, sick people and displaced civilians. “All the babies are fighting serious infections due to a lack of medical supplies and the inability to continue infection control measures at Al Shifa Hospital,” said Gaza Hospitals Director General Mohammed Zaqut. Likewise, it is planned that 100 Gaza evacuees arrive in Türkiye today, including 61 patients and 49 family members, who crossed into Egypt on Sunday afternoon, the Turkish health ministry reported. Two weeks ago, Turkey already welcomed around thirty cancer patients from Gaza and hopes to be able to transfer up to a thousand people to its country, said the Minister of Health, Fahrettin Koca.
On the other hand, the Israeli army published on Sunday images from security cameras from Al Shifa hospital dating back to October 7. In them, Hamas militants are seen entering the center with two hostages, one of Thai nationality and the other Nepalese. The General Staff also revealed images of an organization tunnel found at the entrance to the hospital, which would be about 55 meters deep. The army continues to investigate the building, where it reiterates that there are hidden tunnels that lead to one of the Palestinian militants’ headquarters.
In recent hours, information has increased about an imminent agreement between Israel and Hamas to release more than a dozen hostages. Following a meeting of the Israeli war cabinet last night, an official source told the Israeli public broadcaster that “there has been progress in negotiations to free some of the captives, but nothing is finalized yet.” Shortly before, the Qatari Prime Minister, Abdulrahman Al Thani, who acts as mediator between both sides, indicated that there are “minor” details left to close the agreement.
For its part, Egypt, which is trying to mediate to increase the entry of humanitarian aid into the Strip, accused Israel of pushing the Palestinians to leave the enclave. “Egypt is making every effort to bring aid to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing, but Israel’s policy of obstructing the entry of aid is a systematic policy aimed at pushing Palestinians to leave the Strip under the the weight of the bombings and the siege,” declared Sameh Shoukry, foreign ministry spokesman, during a meeting in Beijing. Egypt has repeated on several occasions that it does not want to host Palestinians displaced from Gaza, a position that has the support of the EU.