On Sunday night, the Al Quds hospital in Gaza received a one-hour warning from the IOF to evacuate the site before it targeted its surroundings.
The lives of least 120 newborn babies in incubators at hospitals across Gaza are hanging by a thread due to an extreme shortage of fuel supply amid the ongoing war and blockade on the Strip, the United Nations warned on Sunday.
“We have currently 120 neonates who are in incubators, out of which we have 70 neonates with mechanical ventilation, and of course this is where we are extremely concerned,” Jonathan Crickx, the spokesperson of the UN’s children agency (UNICEF) said, as quoted by news agencies.
Gaza is facing a dire humanitarian crisis due to a relentless Israeli bombing campaign and its ongoing siege of the Strip. As it stands, Israel has cut off all access to food, water, and electricity and has allowed just 37 aid trucks into the area through the Rafah crossing with Egypt over the last few days – none of which contain fuel to keep hospitals running.
Since the start of the bombing campaign on 7 October, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have killed at least 4,651 Palestinians, including at least 1,765 children.
Gaza’s health ministry separately said the lives of at least 130 premature babies are in danger due to the lack of fuel which generates electricity and keep incubators operating.
The blockade has devastated medical facilities in Gaza which have been overwhelmed with thousands of deaths and injuries during the ongoing Israeli bombardment. Doctors on the ground have said that patients, including children, are being treated in the corridors and outside hospitals without the use of anaesthesia.
Last week, the UN said there are at least 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza, including 5,500 of whom are in their third trimester. Around 160 women in Gaza give birth on a daily basis, most of which are unable to deliver due to a lack of proper medical supplies.
Targeting of hospitals
Hospitals, medics and first responders have been among those targeted by the IOF since the beginning of the war on Gaza, with health facilities receiving increasing evacuation orders by Israel.
On Sunday night, the Al Quds hospital in Gaza received a one-hour warning from the IOF to evacuate the site before it then targeted its surroundings. The hospital is currently hosting at least 400 patients including 12,000 Palestinians displaced by the Israeli war.
Last week, Israel carried out a massacre at the Al-Ahli Arabi Baptist Hospital in Gaza, killing at least 500 Palestinians seeking treatment and shelter at the Christian-run facility. Qatar condemned the “brutal massacre” and slammed it as “a heinous crime against defenceless civilians.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday that “it is impossible for these overcrowded hospitals to safely evacuate patients.”
“They must be allowed to perform their life saving functions. They must be protected,” the WHO chief said.
Gaza’s dire conditions are expected to worsen as Israel vows to deepen its bombardment of the Strip ahead of its ground invasion.
Sunday has been described by Palestinians on the ground as the worst night since the start of the Israeli aggression, with at least 60 killed overnight alone. The Israeli military claimed it attacked more than 320 “military targets” in Gaza overnight, including the densely-populated Jabailia refugee camp.
Meanwhile, Israel has continued to renew threats to Palestinians and has ordered them to flee to the south of Gaza, despite previously bombings convoys that heeded such calls over the last two weeks.
At the same time, Israel has carried out deadly attacks and raids in the occupied West Bank, arresting at least 120 there.