| 19.11,23. 03:05 PM |
Evacuation process from Al-Shifa Medical Complex begins after Israeli army's 1-hour deadline
Patients, medical staff, and civilians seeking refuge at the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza began evacuating from the hospital on Saturday following a one-hour deadline imposed by the Israeli army, according to the facility's director.
"But about 120 patients who are unable to walk will remain in the hospital due to their injuries, while five medical staff will take care of them," Muhammad Abu Salmiya told Anadolu.
He added that Al-Shifa Hospital is coordinating with the UN and that these patients would also be evacuated later once the necessary arrangements are complete.
"Thirty premature babies are also at the hospital," said the director, who noted that hospital authorities were also coordinating with the Red Cross to secure their departure.
Abu Salmiya also said that Israeli troops had destroyed Al-Shifa Hospital's oxygen stations, water lines, and drug stores.
For its part, the Israeli army claimed in a statement that it "did not request the evacuation of patients and medical staff," but that it "responded to the request of the hospital director to allow the displaced Gazans to head to the south through a secured road."
A Palestinian medical source told Anadolu earlier on Saturday that the Israeli army had given the administration at Al-Shifa Hospital an hour to evacuate the hospital of patients, displaced persons, and medical staff.
The source added that the army "continues to besiege the hospital," while "combing, searching and digging operations inside the hospital" were also ongoing.
Separately, the Health Ministry in Gaza said in a statement that "no food or water supplies have entered Al-Shifa Hospital in eight days," confirming that 51 patients have so far died since the Israeli assault on the facility began, including four premature babies.
The ministry stated Al-Shifa "has become completely isolated from the world due to the loss of communications."
"Patients are starving and the accumulated garbage poses a new threat to those trapped in the hospital," it added.
Since Israel started bombarding Gaza on Oct. 7, more than 12,000 Palestinians have been killed, including over 8,300 women and children, and more than 30,000 others have been injured, according to the latest figures.
Thousands of buildings, including hospitals, mosques and churches, have also been damaged or destroyed in Israel’s relentless air and ground attacks on the besieged enclave.
An Israeli blockade has also cut Gaza off from fuel, electricity and water supplies, and reduced aid deliveries to a trickle.
The Israeli death toll, meanwhile, is around 1,200, according to official figures.