About 200 patients were evacuated Monday from the Indonesian hospital, north of Gaza City, where "12 patients and their relatives" were killed and "dozens wounded" in an Israeli strike, Hamas Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidreh said Monday.
"The Israeli army is besieging the Indonesian hospital and we fear that the same thing will happen there as in al-Shifa," the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, which was recently evacuated and is now in the hands of the Israeli army, Dr. Qidreh added.
In the evening, about 200 patients were evacuated from the facility, which is located on the edge of the Jabaliya refugee camp and has a theoretical capacity of 140 beds, he said. The evacuation was carried out in coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), he said, a condition set by Gazan doctors for a guarantee that no ambulance would be bombed after Israel targeted an ambulance in the northern Gaza Strip. The Israeli army said the ambulance was "used" by Hamas.
"There are still 400 patients in the hospital and we are working with the ICRC to evacuate them to the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis" in the southern Gaza Strip and "then distribute them", Ashraf al-Qidreh added. In addition, "about 2,000 displaced people" are in and around the Indonesian hospital, among the 1.6 million displaced people in the small territory. The World Health Organization (WHO) denounced this "attack" on Monday morning on the hospital, confirming the death toll of 12 dead and dozens injured.
"We've seen death in the face"
At the Indonesian hospital, "we saw death in the face, the artillery and machine gun fire didn't stop," said Mohammed Aqel, 32, who was wounded in the leg, as he arrived at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. "On the Salaheddine road," which crosses the Gaza Strip from north to south, "we saw a lot of dead bodies," he added.
The IDF says it is "expanding its operations into new neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip," including the Jabaliya area.
Mounir al-Bourch, director general of the Ministry of Health, who is currently in the Indonesian hospital, said: "Targeting this facility means shutting down all medical services in the northern Gaza Strip." "The Israeli army has destroyed some departments, including the nursing and surgical services, and the others are under threat of sniper fire," he said earlier in the day.
In the Indonesian hospital, "more than 100 people need emergency surgery but we have only a few caregivers," he said. And very little electricity, as fuel has been trickling in since Israel imposed a "complete siege" of the Gaza Strip on 9 October. "We now use soybean oil instead of fuel to run the generators," he says.
Hamas repeats that the Israeli army is waging "a war against hospitals" while Israel accuses the Islamist movement of using these facilities for military purposes.
13,300 dead in Gaza, according to Hamas
On November 5, the Israeli military claimed that the Indonesian hospital concealed an underground Hamas command and control center. The Palestinian Islamist movement has denied this. The army also presented satellite photos showing a Hamas rocket launching facility, located less than 100 meters from the hospital.
On 28 and 29 October, after orders from the Israeli army to evacuate, the area around the hospital, which opened in 2015 and was financed by Indonesia, was bombed, according to the UN.
In recent days, Israeli troops have also stormed al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Hundreds of patients, doctors and displaced people who had taken refuge in the hospital were evacuated. According to the WHO, whose experts visited al-Shifa, it was still housing 20 health workers and more than 250 patients on Sunday.
The war was sparked by Hamas' unprecedented attack on Israeli soil on October 7, where, according to the authorities, 1,200 people, the vast majority of them civilians, were killed. About 240 people were also taken hostage, according to Israel.
In retaliation, Israel has vowed to "annihilate" Hamas and is relentlessly shelling the Gaza Strip. According to the Palestinian Islamist movement's government, 13,300 people have been killed in the Israeli bombing, including more than 5,500 children.