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Israeli army left infants to die in Al-Nasr Children's Hospital: Palestinian doctor

March 9, 2024 at 1:10 pm

A view of a newborn infant receiving care inside an incubator in Gaza City [MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images]

“We were surprised that the occupation army left infants to die and their bodies to decompose without allowing anyone to save them,” recounted the Palestinian doctor Mona Sahwil on the “horrific crimes” committed by the Israeli army after it stormed the Al-Nasr Children’s Hospital in Gaza City, Anadolu Agency reports.

Sahwil, who was displaced from the northern to central Gaza Strip as a result of the devastating Israeli war, said she was working as a pediatrician in the intensive care department at the Al-Nasr Children’s Hospital when the “Israeli crime” occurred on Nov. 10.

The doctor, who currently works at the Al-Aqsa Hospital in the city of Deir al-Balah, said the Israeli forces “besieged Al-Nasr Hospital that day, which posed a great danger to us.”

She told Anadolu that after the siege, the medical staff were forced to evacuate the hospital, and “coordination was made with international institutions to transfer the medical staff and sick children to another hospital.”

“We prepared to go out with the children who were on ventilators, but the army entered the hospital and told us to leave them and that an international team would come and transfer them.”

Communication with the hospital was then cut off, and the medical teams and personnel were dispersed, she added.

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“After that, we were surprised when we saw pictures of children with decomposing bodies on their beds,” Sahwil said.

“No one took them from the hospital, they remained there until they died and their bodies decomposed,” she noted.

On Feb. 16, the spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf Al-Qudra, confirmed in a statement to Anadolu that five infants had died and that their decomposed bodies were found in the Al-Nasr Hospital.

After the Israeli army withdrew from the Al-Nasr neighborhood, the extent of the massive destruction inside the hospital, with the decomposition of the infants’ bodies and the destruction left behind, horrific scenes emerged where small bones were scattered on the beds.

“Following the Israeli army’s withdrawal from the Al-Nasr neighborhood, the bodies of children were found on hospital beds,” Director-General of the Government Media Office in Gaza Ismail Al-Thawabta told Anadolu.

“The Israeli occupation army committed a massacre against humanity at Al-Nasr Children’s Hospital,” Thawabta said.

He explained that “the Israeli forces forced the doctors to leave the hospital at gunpoint.”

“After 20 days, the medical teams returned to find that the patient children had all died, and their bodies had decomposed, with worms coming out of them,” he added.

Thawabta held Israel, the American administration, and the international community “responsible for this crime.”

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since a surprise attack by Hana’s on Oct. 7. The ensuing Israeli attacks have killed more than 30,960 and injured about 72,524 with mass destruction and shortages of necessities, while less than 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85% of the territory’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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