The health sector in Gaza has collapsed due to the absence of medical supplies and electricity.
Authorities in Gaza refuted allegations made by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Sunday, which claimed a Qatar-funded hospital in Gaza was being used by Hamas fighters, widely seen as a threat by Israel to bomb the facility.
In a press conference, IOF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari pulled up footage and images of a number of hospitals in the besieged Gaza Strip which he claimed were being used as bases for Hamas operations, including the Qatar-funded Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa bin Thani Hospital.
“Qatar’s government had funded its establishment and it’s called the Qatari Hospital. Here you can see members of the Israeli defence forces revealing an opening for a tunnel, this is part of the land operation that was carried out at this hospital,” he claimed.
Inaugurated in 2019, the facility was the first prosthetic hospital to open in Gaza and was named after Qatar’s Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. The hospital sustained severe damage during Israel’s bombing campaign of Gaza.
However, Hagari’s claims were dismissed hours later by Gaza’s media office chief Salama Maarouf, who said the government is willing to receive investigators to inspect the hospitals. Maarouf added that the so-called tunnel was actually a fuel tank opening.
“The occupation adopted falsification and broadcast fabricated images to promote its claims about Gaza’s hospitals,” Maarouf said. “We refute the occupation’s claims regarding Gaza’s hospitals, which provide only medical services.”
Khalil Al-Hayya, a member of the Hamas political bureau, also debunked the IOF official’s claims, inviting international bodies to inspect the facilities.
“The occupation is promoting its lies in order to pave the way for a major massacre,” Al-Hayya told Al Jazeera.
Schools and hospitals have been among the most targeted locations since Israel began its devastating bombing campaign in early October. Hospitals, schools and health facilities have been serving as a shelter for tens of thousands of displaced Palestinians whose houses were flattened by the non-stop bombardment.
Within a month, the IOF has killed at least 9,922 Palestinians, including 4,008 children—making up 40% of the total toll.
Hospitals under constant threat
Gaza’s already dwindling health sector has collapsed due to an absence of medical supplies and electricity. More than one-third of hospitals in Gaza have already shut down either due to damage or lack of fuel, and the remaining 10 hospitals in the north of the Strip continue to face threats of bombing by Israel.
Health facilities, including the vital Al Shifa Hospital, have been receiving almost daily bombing threats by the IOF, which has already launched multiple attacks on their surroundings.
On Friday, the IOF bombed the gate of the Al Shifa hospital while simultaneously targeting the Indonesian Hospital and the Al Quds hospital, killing dozens of Palestinians.
On October 17, the IOF carried out a massacre at the Al-Ahli Arabi Baptist Hospital, in which at least 500 Palestinians seeking treatment and shelter were killed.
Last week, Palestine’s envoy to the United Nations Riyad Mansour warned that Israel’s non-stop bombardment of Gaza has turned the enclave into “hell on earth” with “every minute” separating the 2.3 million population from life and death.
“Gaza is now hell on Earth. Saving humanity from hell today means for the UN to save Palestinians in Gaza,” Mansour said in an impassioned speech before the global bloc.
Israel has dropped more than 25,000 tonnes of explosives on Gaza since the start of the war, making it the equivalent to two nuclear bombs, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said on Thursday.
The rights organisation added that the technological developments of the bombs probably made those dropped by Israel “twice as powerful as a nuclear bomb.”
The IOF has also dropped internationally restricted white phosphorus bombs on Gaza that have the ability to cause severe burns down to the bone. Medics are unable to treat such wounds due to a crippling siege on the Strip.
On Sunday, Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani slammed justifications of the ongoing massacres and called out Israel for its genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
“Every day, the occupation engages in genocidal practices and crimes of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people, not to mention the indiscriminate bombing of hospitals, schools, refugee camps and other civilian facilities in which the displaced, women, children and the elderly have taken shelter,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“When we hear to the justifications of the occupation forces, it mentions that there is suspicion of the presence of a [resistance leader], and the cost of assassinating or targeting this leader exceeds 400 people in a neighbourhood, and we find that the international reactions, unfortunately, are not at the required level and may sometimes be shameful,” he added.