Israel ordered ‘just leave in the next hour’; 450 patients left behind at Al-Shifa hospital

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  • Israel ordered the evacuation of the Al-Shifa hospital “in the next hour” over loudspeakers. 
  • Hundreds leave Gaza’s Al-Shifa on foot as IDF says ‘no evacuation’, order is given. 
  • Gaza health officials said that 450 patients were left behind at Al-Shifa hospital. 
  • About 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and about 240 people have been taken hostage, Israel has said. In Gaza, around 12,000 people, including 5,000 children, have been killed.  
  • Hundreds of civilians and health workers fled Gaza’s largest hospital on foot today as Israeli troops issued the order to evacuate over loudspeakers on Saturday. 
  • Health officials in Gaza said 450 patients had been left behind at the hospital following repeat warnings the sick and wounded would not be able to escape. 
  • Al-Shifa hospital has become the focus of the Israel-Hamas war, now entering its seventh week, as Israel closes in on what it says is a façade for a Hamas stronghold – claims the hospital and Hamas deny. 

Hundreds of people fled after Israel’s army ordered the evacuation of Gaza’s main hospital- Al-Shifa- where more than 2,000 patients and displaced people were trapped. However, Gaza health officials said that 450 patients were left behind at the hospital, as per a news agency. The facility has become the focus of the war as Israel has been pressing military operations inside the hospital claiming that Hamas’ operations center is beneath the complex. Hamas has denied the charge.

Israel ordered the evacuation of the Al-Shifa hospital “in the next hour” over loudspeakers, AFP reported.

The hospital’s director, Mohammed Abu Salmiya, was instructed to ensure “the evacuation of patients, wounded, the displaced and medical staff, and that they should move on foot towards the seafront”, he said.

The United Nations estimated that 2,300 patients, staff, and displaced Palestinians were sheltering at the Al-Shifa facility. Israel also told Palestinians to move from the north of Gaza for their safety as deadly air strikes continue to hit central and southern areas of the territory.

About 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and about 240 people have taken hostage, Israel has said. In Gaza, around 12,000 people, including 5,000 children, have been killed.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) said that 70 percent of residents have no access to clean water in south Gaza. Raw sewage has begun to flow on the streets, it warned. UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths told the UN General Assembly that fuel supplies to the agency so far were “a fraction of what is needed to meet the minimum of our humanitarian responsibilities”.

In Gaza, more than 1.5 million people have been internally displaced while more than half of Gaza’s hospitals are no longer functional.

Israel has said that it will allow two fuel trucks per day into the Gaza Strip but United Nations agencies are pointing out that this supply is nowhere near providing relief to thousands of Gazan civilians who are facing unimaginable situations for more than a month due to Israeli attacks and blockade. The UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees has said that fuel supply should be accompanied by the restoration of phone lines otherwise the operation will face difficulties.

(With inputs from agencies)

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