A group of 28 premature babies has been evacuated from al-Shifa Hospital in the besieged Gaza Strip and taken to Egypt for urgent treatment as Palestinian officials say Israeli forces have attacked another hospital in northern Gaza.
The newborns had been patients at al-Shifa, Gaza’s largest medical facility, where several others had died after their incubators stopped working for a lack of fuel as medical services collapse during the Israeli military’s ground and air assault on Gaza City.
The babies were transported on Sunday to al-Helal Emirati Maternity Hospital in Rafah in southern Gaza, so their condition could be stabilised before making the trip to Egypt through the Rafah border crossing on Monday.
During the Israeli operation, hundreds of patients, medical staff and displaced people left al-Shifa at the weekend and moved to the southern Gaza Strip.
Since al-Shifa doctors have raised the alarm about the situation at the hospital for premature babies and the lack of clean water and medicines in the neonatal ward, eight infants have died, according to hospital officials.
At another hospital in northern Gaza, at least 12 people were killed by artillery fire on Monday and dozens wounded, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said.
The ministry said hundreds of people were trapped at the facility, which was encircled by Israeli tanks.
Reporting from the hospital, journalist Anas al-Sharif described the scenes inside as “chaotic”.
The WHO’s chief said the United Nations agency was “appalled” by the attack on the Indonesian Hospital.
Indonesia’s foreign minister condemned the attack on the hospital, which was built in 2016 and funded by Indonesia, and called it a “clear violation of international humanitarian laws”.
Like most hospitals and clinics in the northern half of the Gaza Strip, the Indonesian Hospital has largely ceased operations but is sheltering patients, staff and displaced people who have sought shelter at the site after Israel launched its assault on Gaza last month.
As fighting continues between Israeli forces and Hamas in Gaza, US and Israeli officials said a Qatari-mediated deal to free some of the captives held in the Palestinian enclave and pause fighting temporarily to enable aid deliveries to stricken civilians was edging closer.
About 240 hostages were taken during a deadly assault on southern Israel by Hamas on October 7. About 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed, according to Israeli tallies.
After the attack, Israel promised to topple the armed group, which has governed Gaza since 2007, and it launched a devastating bombardment and ground offensive on Gaza.
At least 13,000 Palestinians have been killed, including at least 5,500 children, according to Palestinian officials.