The Palestine Red Crescent Society reported that Israeli forces targeted a hospital in southern Gaza on Thursday, resulting in multiple casualties. This attack came just a day after another deadly Israeli strike in front of the same medical facility.
On Wednesday, the health ministry in Gaza stated that nearly twenty people were killed when Israeli forces struck the entrance of Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis. The Israeli military has launched an expanded offensive in Khan Younis, which is the largest city in southern Gaza.
According to Nebal Farsakh, a spokesperson for the Palestine Red Crescent Society, most of those killed on Wednesday were displaced individuals seeking refuge in and around the hospital. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that approximately 14,000 displaced Palestinians were sheltering at Al-Amal. Sadly, Gaza’s nearly thirty-two hospitals are no longer able to serve as medical facilities due to the ongoing attacks by Israel.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society revealed that Al-Amal Hospital and its immediate surroundings have been targeted five times in less than a week.
Videos shared by the Palestine Red Crescent Society on social media show the aftermath of the Wednesday strike, which affected the hospital’s emergency ward. These videos depict bodies on the streets and medics rushing injured individuals, including children, into ambulances. However, the authenticity of these videos cannot be independently verified.
The Israeli military did not provide information on the specific locations of their strikes in Khan Younis on Wednesday. Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the military’s chief spokesman, described Khan Younis as a “main Hamas terror center” and announced the addition of another brigade to their forces in the city.
The Gazan Health Ministry reported that dozens of people were killed in Israeli strikes across the Gaza Strip, including in Khan Younis, overnight and on Thursday morning.
According to the Palestine Red Crescent Society, shelling near Al-Amal Hospital has been relentless in recent days. They shared a video of their medics searching for bodies and injured individuals in the rubble of a bombed-out house in the neighborhood. Less than an hour later, the organization reported that shelling had also hit the upper floors of their nearby headquarters, injuring several displaced people taking shelter there.
A WHO team that visited Al-Amal Hospital on Tuesday reported dire conditions for both patients and civilians seeking shelter. The hospital was overcrowded, with patients and people seeking refuge crammed together. The team noted that only a few toilets and five of the hospital’s nine ambulances were functioning.
The WHO also witnessed tens of thousands of people fleeing heavy strikes in Khan Younis and central Gaza. These displaced individuals were traveling on foot, by donkey, or by car, and constructing makeshift shelters along the roads.
With the Israeli military advancing into central Gaza, nearly two million people have been forced to congregate in the southern part of the already tiny enclave, exacerbating the dire humanitarian crisis.
Dr. Rik Peeperkorn, the WHO’s representative for the West Bank and Gaza, expressed extreme concern about the additional strain on health facilities in the south due to the latest wave of displacement. He warned that this forced mass movement of people would lead to overcrowding, increased risk of infectious diseases, and hindered humanitarian aid delivery.