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Al-Shifa Hospital: Doctors race to save newborns as Israel says it is fighting Hamas over Gaza’s largest hospital

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CNN

The director of Gaza’s largest hospital has warned that premature babies are being wrapped in aluminum foil and placed next to hot water in a desperate attempt to keep them alive in “catastrophic” conditions, under Israeli firepower. Pound or pound The surrounding streets and remaining fuel reserves were depleted, rendering the facility unable to operate.

Staff at Al Shifa Hospital were struggling to keep newborns alive and warm after oxygen supplies ran out, and had to manually move babies from neonatal unit incubators to another part of the hospital. Meanwhile, an Al Arabiya correspondent who was inside the hospital told CNN that people were trapped there, too afraid to flee due to the intense fighting.

The director of the medical center, Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya, told CNN on Monday: “There is no longer water, food and milk for children and infants… The situation in the hospital is catastrophic.”

The photos show several newborns taken from hospital incubators and placed together in one bed.

On Sunday, the doctor told Al-Arabi TV that many children had died in the intensive care unit and nursery over the past two days amid the ongoing Israeli bombing and blockade imposed on Gaza, an already poor and densely populated area, following the October 7 attack on the Gaza Strip. Territories controlled by Hamas militants.

Dr. Medhat Abbas, Director-General of the Ministry of Health in Gaza, told CNN that the medical staff at Al-Shifa Hospital kept four infants alive after their mothers died by performing caesarean sections. “Now they have to live without their mothers and without electricity… Can you imagine?” He said in a voice note.

“When these babies are born prematurely, to sustain their lives, they need the same temperature as their mother. This temperature can only be provided in incubators that are properly heated,” Abbas said.

He warned that the situation would get worse with the onset of winter.

An Israeli army spokesman told CNN on Saturday that his forces participated in the attack “Ongoing violent fighting” against Hamas In the vicinity of the medical complex, but he denied shooting at the medical center in northern Gaza and refused to do so It indicates that the hospital is under siege.

Asked about hospitals in Gaza at an unrelated Oval Office event on Monday, President Joe Biden told reporters: “Hospitals must be protected.”

Israel He repeatedly claimed that there was a Hamas command center under Al-Shifa Hospital, which Hamas and hospital officials denied. The Israeli military has also previously accused Hamas of integrating itself into civilian infrastructure. CNN cannot independently verify the IDF’s claims.

An American official with knowledge of American intelligence He told CNN on Monday Hamas has a command node under Al-Shifa Hospital, uses fuel allocated to it, and its fighters regularly gather in and around the hospital.

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Reuters

Newborn babies are put to bed after being taken out of incubators at Shifa Hospital in Gaza when oxygen supplies ran out in the neonatal unit, on November 12.

Khader Al-Zanoun/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands of displaced people try to take shelter in Al-Shifa Hospital, along with medical staff and patients, as seen on November 10. Many civilians are afraid to leave amid the continuing barrage of Israeli strikes.

Work by candlelight

An independent journalist inside Al-Shifa described dozens of bodies that had not yet been buried, ambulances that were unable to collect the wounded, and life support systems without electricity. Medics were working by candlelight, food was being rationed and people inside were starting to drink piped water, the journalist said late Saturday.

CNN also spoke with Al Arabiya Network correspondent, Khader Al Zanoun, who is inside the hospital.

He said: “Communications are very poor and it is almost impossible for us to report what is happening in the hospital and its grounds. We barely have cell phone lines but there is no internet.”

“No one can move or dare to leave the hospital. The staff here are aware of many strikes that occur around the hospital, and we see smoke rising from those strikes and we know that there are people in some of those buildings, but the ambulances do not leave the hospital because… During the last days The ambulance was hit “She’s on her way out of the hospital.”

Abu Salmiya, director of Al-Shifa Hospital, told CNN that 7,000 displaced people are desperately trying to take shelter in Al-Shifa Hospital, along with about 1,500 patients and medical staff.

Abu Salamiya told Al-Arabi TV that none of the operating rooms are working inside the hospital due to the power outage, adding that “whoever needs surgery dies and we cannot do anything for him.”

He added: “Now the wounded come to us and we cannot provide them with anything but first aid.”

The World Health Organization says that Al-Shifa Hospital has been without electricity for three days. “Unfortunately, the hospital no longer operates as a hospital,” she said.

The spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza, Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, said over the weekend that the intensive care unit, pediatric ward and oxygen machines were out of service.

Watch this interactive content on CNN.com

Healing is not alone. The Palestine Red Crescent Society announced on Sunday that Al-Quds Hospital, another major facility in Gaza City, was out of service. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said the hospital — the second largest in Gaza — “is no longer operational.” This interruption of services comes due to the depletion of available fuel and a power outage.

Israeli air strikes killed at least 11,180 people, including 4,609 children and 3,100 women, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, which draws its figures from Hamas-controlled territory. At least 28,200 people were injured.

In recent days, 15 patients died at Al-Shifa Hospital, including six newborns, due to power outages and a lack of medical supplies.

Israel’s blockade of basic supplies, including fuel entering Gaza, has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis with the closure of hospitals, water networks, bakeries and other services that depend on electricity.

Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on Wednesday that Hamas and Israel had committed crimes war crimes Last month.

Dr. Munir al-Barsh, director-general of the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health, said on Monday that medical staff at Shifa Hospital had rejected the evacuation order issued by the Israeli military because they feared about 700 patients would die if left behind.

“The problem is not the doctors, but the patients. If they are left, they will die, and if they are transported, they will die on the way. This is the problem, we are talking about 700 patients,” Al-Barsh told CNN on Monday.

He added: “There has been no response yet from doctors, but some of the displaced people and their families have already left.”

According to Al-Barsh, the evacuation order is not coordinated with any international humanitarian body, such as the International Red Cross. He added that the lack of coordination raises concerns about the safety and feasibility of transporting such a large number of patients, many of whom are in critical condition and will die during transport.

CNN requested comment from the IDF regarding Al-Barsh’s claim that he ordered the hospital to be evacuated.

Earlier on Monday, the Israeli army announced the reopening of an evacuation corridor for residents of northern Gaza. Israeli army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht said on Sunday that the majority of people in… Al-Nasr Hospital and Al-Rantisi Children’s Hospitalboth in northern Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in Interview with CNN On Sunday, he said there was “no reason” why evacuating patients would not allow them to recover. Netanyahu told CNN that Israel was helping patients by creating corridors on the ground, and said that “100 or so” had already been evacuated from the hospital.

CNN cannot independently verify whether anyone was able to evacuate.

CNN previously documented Palestinian civilians Being killed Due to Israeli strikes around evacuation zones, which confirms the fact that evacuation zones and warning alerts issued by the IDF do not guarantee the safety of civilians in the densely populated Gaza Strip.

International calls for a ceasefire continue to mount as world leaders increase pressure on Israel over the rising civilian death toll, and huge crowds gather in cities around the world to participate in pro-Palestinian protests. But Netanyahu reiterated to CNN on Sunday that the only cessation of fighting he would accept is “one in which our hostages are released.”

The Israeli military estimates that Hamas is holding 240 hostages in Gaza, including civilian men, women and children. The militant group released only four hostages — two elderly Israeli women and an American mother and her daughter — while Israeli forces said they rescued an Israeli soldier.

Army spokesman Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a press conference that Israeli forces continued their ground operation in Gaza on Sunday by incursion into Gaza City. Hajri said that the infantry and combat engineering forces arrived at the outskirts of the Beach refugee camp in Gaza, which is close to Al-Shifa Hospital. In a related development, army forces, in coordination with the navy, raided the Gaza Marina area, and are currently present in the areas east of it.

The Israeli army said on Sunday that it placed 300 liters of fuel at the entrance to the Shifa Hospital complex, but Hamas prevented the hospital from receiving it. Abu Salmiya told Al-Arabi TV that the employees were too afraid to go out to get her.

“The Israeli army told us that the 300 liters of fuel they provided is not enough to operate the hospital for 30 minutes,” Abu Salamiya told CNN. He said on Monday that the hospital had asked the Israeli army for 600 liters of fuel every hour to run its generators, but the Israeli army had not yet responded.

The Israeli army published a video clip that it said showed soldiers delivering jerrycans to a location on the sidewalk near the hospital entrance. It also published an audio recording, purportedly of a hospital official accusing a Hamas leader in the Ministry of Health of refusing to admit him.

Abu Salamiya said that it was the presence of Israeli tanks that prevented them from being collected.

“Of course, my paramedic team was completely afraid to go out,” he said, adding: “We want every drop of fuel, but I told (the Israeli army) that it must be sent through the International Red Cross or through any international institution.” “.

Hamas denied these allegations and said that the Israeli fuel delivery was just a propaganda stunt.

This story is updated with additional developments.

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