Israeli forces close in on al-Shifa Hospital, trapping thousands

As of early Saturday morning, the Israeli military has surrounded the main entrance of Gaza’s largest hospital, which is currently housing thousands of injured and displaced individuals amidst the ongoing Israeli bombardment. This encirclement has resulted in the prevention of ambulances from accessing or leaving the hospital, exacerbating the already limited availability of medical supplies and food.

Al Jazeera’s Tareq Abu Azzoum reported that the main medical complex in the Gaza Strip is currently under attack, with the front gates being destroyed. This distressing situation is further exacerbated by the fact that patients and thousands of Palestinians are still present within the hospital grounds. The Israeli forces have surrounded the area, leaving these individuals trapped and unable to seek help or evacuate. As a result, ambulances are unable to reach the targeted areas to transport victims and the wounded. The dire circumstances have also led to a shortage of food, leaving the trapped individuals in a precarious situation.

 According to Abu Azzoum, Israeli snipers and artillery were targeting individuals who ventured outside the hospital. Despite the dangerous conditions, Muhammad Abu Salmiya, the director of Al-Shifa, stated that the hospital staff has vowed to remain with their patients until the very end. Abu Salmiya referred to the area surrounding the hospital as a “battlefield.” The recent increase in attacks follows an Israeli strike on the hospital that resulted in the deaths of 13 people and injuries to many others.

what said health authorities?

On Friday, health authorities reported that Israeli tanks were approaching four hospitals in northern Gaza from various directions. Later that day, Marwan Jilani, the director general of the Palestine Red Crescent Society, denounced Israel’s assault on hospitals during a UN Security Council meeting in New York.

Jilani reported that displaced individuals in hospitals are currently being targeted by gunfire. They are left with no choice but to ask for help and guidance on where to seek refuge. The lives of countless innocent people are in grave danger. The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, expressed his deep distress over the alarming situation at the al-Shifa Hospital.

X, formerly known as Twitter, was the platform where he shared that a large number of individuals taking refuge in the hospital had to leave due to security threats, while a significant number still remain there. 

The safety of patients, healthcare professionals, and those seeking shelter in hospitals is a top priority for WHO. Immediate measures must be taken to ensure their protection.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus



We are extremely disturbed by reports of airstrikes in the vicinity of Al-Shifa hospital in #Gaza. Many health workers we were in contact with have been forced to leave the hospital in search of safety. Others report being unable to move due to grave insecurity. Many of the… Show more

2:31 AM · Nov 11, 2023

what said Hamas ?

Hamas has denied Israel’s claim that al-Shifa hospital is being used as a command center, but the hospital has still been targeted in bombings along with other medical facilities in the area. As a result, the World Health Organization has reported that many hospitals and primary care facilities in Gaza are no longer operational due to the ongoing conflict.

According to Palestinian health officials, the number of Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war stands at a minimum of 11,078.

Israeli officials report that on October 7, Hamas carried out surprise attacks on Israel, resulting in the deaths of over 1,200 individuals, predominantly civilians.

Sources from Aljazeera.

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