Gaza Humanitarian Crisis: Hospitals, More than 11,000 Deaths

By If Americans Knew | Israel-Palestine News

Palestinians leave the northern part of the Gaza to flee the central and southern parts of the Gaza Strip on November 08, 2023, under orders from Israel and amid bombing in both the north and the south. (photo)

Palestinian death toll: 11,025[1] (10,829 in Gaza[2] (including at least 4,506 children and 3,027 women), and at least 196 in the West Bank). 

Palestinian injuries: 30,076[2] (including at least 27,490 in Gaza[2] and 2,625 in the West Bank).

It remains unknown how many Americans are among the casualties. About 1.6 million people have been displaced; 3,500 are missing (1,740 children) and presumed to be under rubble.

Israel has now killed more Palestinians in a little over a month than in all the previous 22 years combined.

Reported Israeli death toll has been reduced to ~1,200[3] (The Israeli spokesman said the original figure of deaths on March 7 was an “initial estimate” – 3 killed in West Bank, 49 in Gaza), including 32 Americans, and ~5,400 injured). The names of the 1,162 identified (33 of them children) are here.

At least 21,927 Palestinians and 2,597 Israelis have been killed by someone from the other side since 2000.

Humanitarian update: A total of 115 trucks with humanitarian aid items crossed into Gaza on 13 November as of 18:00 hrs. This brings the number of trucks that have entered Gaza since 21 October to 1,096. Prior to the start of hostilities, an average of 500 truckloads entered Gaza every working day.

According to UNRWA, humanitarian operations at Rafah crossing are expected to cease by 14 November, due to the depletion of fuel to operate trucks and machinery to take supplies from the border and unload them in Gaza; if no additional fuel comes in, other supplies will not come in either.

Israeli authorities continue to ban the entry of fuel, which is desperately needed to operate electricity generators to run life-saving equipment.

People sheltering in tents at UN schools in Rafah, south Gaza, are now facing a new problem as rains have brought heavy flooding. One man at a UN shelter called for urgent intervention saying that people are already suffering from a lack of food, water, electricity and other necessities. “If our children do not die from war, they will die from the cold of winter and hunger,” he said. (09:35 GMT)

People who can no longer get out of their homes and those who need ambulances for the wounded often wait in vain, due to the lack of fuel for ambulances and intense fighting near hospitals. (09:20 GMT)

Gaza hospitals update: All but one of the hospitals in Gaza city and northern Gaza are reportedly out of service, as of 13 November, due to the lack of power, medical consumables, oxygen, food and water, compounded by bombardments and fighting in their vicinities. Al Ahli Hospital, in Gaza city, which currently accommodates over 500 patients, is reportedly the sole medical facility able to receive patients, amid increasing shortages and challenges.

No room for “newborns injured by bombings”: NICU nurse Warda al-Awawda says there has been a rising influx of newborns requiring intensive care amid Israel’s ongoing bombardment of the enclave. “We have received cases of newborns injured by bombings…There are children who survived but lost both of their parents…We do not have water to wash milk bottles for newborns or premature babies. The beds are full. On one occasion we received eight cases and we placed them in six incubators.” (07:20 GMT)

Hospital rejects allegations of hostages in basement: Israel’s military released footage of al-Rantisi Children’s Hospital – which its forces entered over the weekend – showing weapons it said were found inside. Images included rooms in the basement where it alleged Palestinian fighters are holding hostages. The video showed what appeared to be a hastily installed toilet and ventilation system.

The health ministry in Gaza rejected the allegations, saying the basement shown was part of the hospital and had been turned into a shelter for war-displaced people. “The hospital was forcefully evacuated at gunpoint … Why didn’t they detain any of the alleged resistance fighters or alleged hostages?” a ministry statement said, denying the facility had anything to do with a tunnel Israeli forces uncovered nearby.

Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesman for Gaza’s Health Ministry, said the hospital repeatedly invited international organizations to tour al-Shifa to confirm its neutrality but has not received a response.

No anesthesia: Gaza surgeon Fadel Naim says patients with injuries “up to the moderate level” are having to undergo surgery without anesthesia because of a lack of medical supplies. “[It’s] to preserve the remaining supply of anesthesia, which is on the verge of depletion at any moment, for major and critical surgeries. The pain experienced by the patients during the surgical interventions without anesthesia is beyond what humanity on this Earth can endure.”

Patient evacuation proposal: Palestinian authorities proposed a Red Cross-supervised evacuation of a hospital beset by fighting in Gaza on Tuesday, as health officials warned that the only way to save three dozen newborns trapped there would be to call a cease-fire and transport them out of the besieged territory.

The ministry said 40 patients, including three babies, have died since the hospital’s emergency generator ran out of fuel Saturday.

Hospital surrounded: After days of battles with Palestinian resistance fighters, Israeli forces have encircled Shifa Hospital, where hundreds of patients, medical staff and displaced people are trapped with dwindling supplies and without electricity to run incubators and other equipment.

The Red Cross tried Monday to evacuate some 6,000 people from another Gaza City hospital, Al-Quds, but said its convoy had to turn back because of shelling and fighting.

Update on Israeli military actions: Israel has carried out multiple airstrikes in southern Gaza, the so-called “safe zone” for people fleeing the north. There are reports of fatalities; the process of extracting the wounded from the rubble is slow, due to lack of fuel to run equipment. (09:25 GMT)

Drone attacks: A surgeon at al-Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip, Ghassan Abu Sitta, says more than 20 people have sought treatment for “chest and neck” gunshot wounds in firing from Israeli quadcopter drones. “This is a low-flying sniper drone. When it comes to killing, they are so innovative,” he said on X. (12:10 GMT)

Southern Gaza: An Israeli airstrike on Khan Younis in southern Gaza has left at least 13 dead. Southern Gaza was designated a “safe zone” by Israel. (06:45 GMT)

Bombing reconstruction HQ: The Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned the Israeli army’s bombing of the headquarters of the Qatar Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza.

“Equivalent to 2 nuclear bombs”: According to the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, Israel has dropped more than 25,000 tonnes (27,500 tons) of explosives on the Gaza Strip since October 7 – equivalent to two nuclear bombs.

Israel’s use of internationally banned weapons in its attacks on the Gaza Strip has been documented, said Euro-Med Monitor, especially the use of cluster and phosphorus bombs, cause severe second- and third-degree burns.

The rights organization further stressed that Israel’s destructive and arbitrary attacks are in violation of international humanitarian law, and that killing civilians is considered a war crime in both international and non-international armed conflicts and may amount to a crime against humanity.

Human Rights Watch: Investigate Israel for war crimes: A new HRW report declares:

The Israeli military’s repeated, apparently unlawful attacks on medical facilities, personnel, and transport are further destroying the Gaza Strip’s healthcare system and should be investigated as war crimes…

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that at least 521 people, including 16 medical workers, have been killed in 137 “attacks on health care” in Gaza as of November 12. These attacks, alongside Israel’s decisions to cut off electricity and water and block humanitarian aid to Gaza, have severely impeded health care access…

“Israel’s repeated attacks damaging hospitals and harming healthcare workers, already hard hit by an unlawful blockade, have devastated Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure,” said A. Kayum Ahmed, special adviser on the right to health at Human Rights Watch.

West Bank news: Overnight in the Palestinian city of Tulkarem, Israeli special forces, snipers, bulldozers, and drones conducted a major raid in which at least 7 Palestinians were killed. (09:40 GMT)

Mass arrests continue across the West Bank, with at least 31 overnight – 2 of them children. To date, 2,570 people have been arrested since October 7. Israel’s detention campaigns have been accompanied by torture, intense beatings, threats and house vandalism, according to rights groups. (12:05 GMT)

20-year-old Muhammad Abd al-Majid al-Halayqa was shot and killed by Israeli forces near the town of Beit Ainun, located northeast of Hebron in the occupied West Bank after allegedly attempting to carry out a stabbing attack. (05:20 GMT) Israeli forces alleged that the young man had a knife. After shooting him multiple times, they left him bleeding on the ground and refused ambulances trying to reach him. The soldiers instead let him bleed to death on the ground. The alleged knife was never found.

Lebanon front: Washington is apparently concerned that Israel is trying to provoke Hezbollah in order to manufacture a pretext for a wider war in Lebanon in what has been described as a cynical move to embroil the US and the region in prolonged conflict. White House officials are said to be alarmed that Israeli strikes in Lebanon are aimed at goading Hezbollah into a response that justifies a full-scale Israeli assault.

Israel news: Israel’s military on Tuesday confirmed the death of a soldier held captive in Gaza after Hamas issued video of her alive followed by images of what the Palestinian faction said was her body after she was killed in an Israeli strike.

In the last 24 hours, two Israeli soldiers were reportedly killed in Gaza, bringing the total number of soldiers killed since the start of ground operations to 49, according to official Israeli sources.

The firing of rockets by Palestinian armed groups towards Israeli population centres has continued over the past 24 hours, with no reported fatalities.  (Information on rocket attacks is here.) It appears that the last time a rocket killed an Israeli was October 7, as reported by Ha’aretz. Ten Israelis were killed – 4 of them Palestinian Israelis.

Ethnic cleansing recommended in Wall Street Journal: On Monday, lawmakers Danny Danon, former ambassador to the UN, and Ram Ben-Barak, former deputy director of the Mossad, published an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal in which they urged  the “voluntary” immigration of Gazans to countries around the world:

The international community has a moral imperative—and an opportunity—to demonstrate compassion, help the people of Gaza move toward a more prosperous future and work together to achieve greater peace and stability in the Middle East…

We simply need a handful of the world’s nations to share the responsibility of hosting Gazan residents. Even if countries took in as few as 10,000 people each, it would help alleviate the crisis.

The authors went on to make baseless accusations against Hamas, and to criticize the UN for “doing nothing tangible to help Gaza’s residents,” but failed to acknowledge Israel’s refusal to allow humanitarian aid to enter the strip, or to stop the indiscriminate bombing of residential neighborhoods, infrastructure, UN facilities, hospitals, and other civilian sites.

Far-right minister Bezalel Smotrich wrote in a Facebook post,

I welcome the initiative of members of Knesset Ram Ben-Barak and Danny Danon on the voluntary immigration of Gaza Arabs to the countries of the world. This is the right humanitarian solution for the residents of Gaza and the entire region.

The reception of refugees by the countries of the world that really want their best interests, with the support and generous financial assistance of the international community, and within the state of Israel is the only solution that will bring to the end of the suffering and pain of Jews and Arabs alike.

Former executive director of Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth views Israel’s efforts in Gaza as ethnic cleansing. Many other leading organizations and individuals agree. Ethnic cleansing is a war crime.

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Notes

[1] IAK does not yet include 471 Gazans killed in the Al Ahli hospital blast since the source of the projectile is being disputed; although much evidence points to Israel as the culprit, experts are still looking into the incident. Israel is blocking an international investigation.

[2] It is impossible to offer an accurate number of injuries in Gaza due to the ongoing bombardment and communication disruption. The Associated Press has reported ~32,000 in Gaza, while the UN number is somewhat lower. Our total for Gaza and the West Bank is based on the conservative figure.

[3] It is unknown at this time how many of the deaths and injuries in Israel may have been caused by Israeli soldiers; additionally, since Israel has a policy of universal conscription, it is unknown how many of those attending the outdoor rave a few miles from Gaza on stolen Palestinian land were Israeli soldiers.



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