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Israel shells hospital in Gaza

The Israeli army today shelled a hospital in the densely populated Shuja'iyya neighbourhood in eastern Gaza City, the Anadolu news agency reported.

Director of Al-Wafa Hospital, Basam Ashi said: "The Israeli artillery stationed on the eastern border of Gaza City bombed the hospital's third and fourth floors which led to damaging the hospital's building and caused a state of panic among patients and staff."

Ashi noted that the Israeli bombing did not cause any casualties or injuries.

Earlier in the morning, the Israeli army informed the hospital management to immediately evacuate the hospital's premises. Ashi said: "The Israeli army asked us to evacuate the hospital, but we refused and will continue our work and care for our patients."

He said patients refused to leave the hospital. Instead, the 30 elderly patients and medical staff and nurses were moved to the first floor.

Ashi said that eight international solidarity activists from the United States, Venezuela, France, Britain, Sweden and Spain have been staying in the hospital since Friday in an attempt to protect it from Israeli bombardment and to provide assistance to the elderly patients.

On Friday morning, parts of the hospital were destroyed after Israeli warplanes bombed its fourth floor with four missiles. Further bombing during the day caused grave damage to the building.

The hospital is run by Al-Wafa Charitable Association and treats and rehabilitates persons with special needs and shelters and cares for homeless elderly.


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