Gaza hospital out of action after Israeli army assault: Director

AFP , Tuesday 19 Dec 2023

One of the last remaining hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip stopped operating on Tuesday after being stormed by the Israeli army, its director said.

al-Ahli Arab hospital
File Photo: Aerial view of people standing before destroyed buildings at the site of al-Ahli Arab hospital. AFP


Fadel Naim told AFP that Israeli troops had attacked the Al-Ahli hospital and arrested doctors, medical staff, and patients, destroying part of the building's grounds.

Israel's attack has "put the hospital out of action", he said. "We can't receive any patients or injured."

At least four people who were wounded by Israeli fire on Monday died on Tuesday after being injured in the Al-Ahli assault, he said.

"According to our information, there are dozens of wounded in the surrounding streets," he said.

Al-Ahli, also known as the Baptist or Ahli Arab Hospital, was already heavily damaged by an explosion in its car park on October 17, resulting in at least dozens of deaths.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad accuse Israel, which denies responsibility and blames a misfired rocket by Jihad for that blast.

Hospitals, protected under international humanitarian law, have repeatedly been hit by Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip since the start of the Israeli war on Gaza on October 7.

Israeli troops have previously raided other medical facilities in Gaza, including Al-Shifa, the territory's largest hospital, which is now functioning at minimal capacity with a very small team.

On Sunday, the World Health Organization said the Al-Ahli hospital was receiving "critical patients" from Al-Shifa for surgery.

The Al-Shifa emergency department, devastated by Israeli bombardments, is "a blood bath" and "in need of resuscitation", the WHO said.

Israel is facing mounting international pressure over the rising civilian death toll and destruction of hospitals in Gaza.

The deadliest-ever Israeli war on the narrow territory began after Hamas militants poured across the border and launched the Al-Aqsa Flood operation that left 1,139 people dead in Israel, according to an AFP tally based on the latest official Israeli figures.

Israel killed at least 19,667 people, two-thirds of them women and children, have been killed in the Palestinian territory, according to the health ministry there.

* This story has been edited by Ahram Online

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