12 DEAD IN INDONESIAN HOSPITAL RINGED BY ISRAELI TANKS
At the Indonesian Hospital, funded by Jakarta, Gaza’s health ministry said at least 12 Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded by firing into the complex encircled by Israeli tanks.
200 patients were evacuated from the hospital in Jabaliya with the help of the Red Cross and taken by bus to Nasser hospital in the southern town of Khan Yunis.
“The Israeli army is laying siege to the Indonesian Hospital,” Health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP.
“We fear the same thing will happen there as it did in Al-Shifa,” he added.
The evacuation of the 140-bed hospital, which is close to the Jabaliya refugee camp, was carried out in coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), he said, in a condition laid down by doctors after Israel struck an ambulance in northern Gaza, claiming it was being used by Hamas militants.
“There are still 400 patients in the hospital and we are working with the ICRC to evacuate,” he said, indicating that “around 2,000 displaced persons” were in and around the hospital.
Health officials said 700 patients along with staff were under Israeli fire.
The Palestinian news agency WAFA said the facility in the northeast Gaza town of Beit Lahia had been hit by artillery rounds. Hospital staff denied there were any armed militants on the premises.
WHO chief Tedros said he was “appalled” by the attack that he too said had killed 12 people, including patients, citing unspecified reports.
The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said troops had fired back at fighters in the hospital while taking “numerous measures to minimise harm” to non-combatants.
“Overnight, terrorists opened fire from within the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza toward IDF troops operating outside the hospital,” the IDF told Reuters. “In response, IDF troops directly targeted the specific source of enemy fire. No shells were fired toward the hospital.”
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, speaking to reporters during a trip to Ukraine, reaffirmed the position of the United States, Israel’s strongest ally, on the need to get humanitarian aid to Gaza civilians.
“We have said every step of the way that our expectation is Israelis conduct their operations in accordance with the law of armed conflict,” Austin said. “They must do everything, or should do everything, that they can to get humanitarian assistance in to the people in Gaza.”
The UN said that 69,000L of fuel entered Gaza from Egypt on Sunday after Israel confirmed it would start allowing the daily delivery of about 70,000L, “which is well below the minimum requirements for essential humanitarian operations”.
Like all other health facilities in the northern half of Gaza, the Indonesian Hospital has largely ceased operations but is still sheltering patients, staff and displaced residents.
Israel has ordered the evacuation of the north, but thousands of civilians remain. Food, fuel, medicines and water have been running out across the enclave under Israel’s six-week-old siege.
Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said its clinic in Gaza City also came under fire on Monday.
In the south, where hundreds of thousands of Gazans who fled the north of the enclave are sheltering, at least 14 Palestinians were killed in two Israeli strikes on houses in Rafah, according to Gaza health authorities.
At least five people were killed and 10 wounded when an Israeli air strike hit an apartment unit in Khan Younis, at the southern end of the strip, according to medical sources at Gaza’s Nasser Hospital. There was no immediate Israeli comment.