Doctors race to save newborns as Israel says it’s battling Hamas around Gaza’s largest hospital
Israeli doctors and medical volunteers were racing to save newborns and vulnerable patients in Gaza’s largest hospital on Thursday, as renewed violence between Israel and Hamas raged around it.
Medical teams had just delivered the season’s first babies when fighting broke out over the weekend. The hospital, Al Shifa, quickly became the site of a tense battle.
Israeli airstrikes hit the hospital’s new ICU building, forcing some patients into other wards for their own safety, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported. Hundreds of critically-ill premature babies were among those evacuated. Meanwhile, Israeli forces prevented medical staff inside the hospital from responding to the needs of those outside.
The fighting is believed to be the worst in seven years. Both sides have reported casualties and hundreds of injuries; many of the wounded were taken from the hospital to other medical facilities around the country.
Although the hospital is still running, medical teams are struggling to maintain the safety of patients and staff. The United Nations has called for an immediate cease-fire to allow essential medical services to reach those in need.