Israel orders evacuation of Gaza hospital, five schools ahead of a potential strike: Aid groups

AFP , Friday 20 Oct 2023

Israel warned humanitarian groups in the Gaza Strip on Friday to evacuate a major hospital and five schools ahead of a potential strike, aid agencies said.

Al-Ahli hospital
A Palestinian man carries an elderly woman past the site of a deadly explosion at al-Ahli hospital, in Gaza City, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. AP


The Al-Quds Hospital is in northern Gaza, which has borne the brunt of Israeli air raids since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7.

The Palestine Red Crescent launched an "urgent appeal" saying it had "received a threat from the occupying authorities to bombard Al-Quds Hospital".

The Israeli warning "demanded" the hospital's evacuation, which would affect more than 400 patients and 12,000 displaced people who have sought "safe haven", the group said.

"We call upon the international community to take immediate and urgent action to prevent another massacre similar to what occurred at Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital," the statement added.

A rocket attack on the Al-Ahli hospital killed hundreds of people, Gaza's Hamas authorities said. Hamas blamed Israeli jets.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said in parallel that Israel had told it to evacuate five schools "as fast as possible".

All of the schools are in Gaza City, close to the hospital.

"We did what we could to protest and reject this decision, but this means that from now these facilities are no longer safe," said an UNRWA statement, calling on thousands of people in and around the hospitals to flee.

The Red Crescent said last Saturday that it had received a similar evacuation order for Al-Quds Hospital. Palestinian media said a rocket attack hit near the hospital on Wednesday.

Gaza authorities say more than 4,100 people have been killed in Israeli raids since the Hamas attacks that left 1,400 people dead. The attacks were the worst suffered by Israel since its creation 75 years ago.

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