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PRCS announces complete closure of Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Yunis

March 27, 2024 at 3:39 pm

A Palestinian man and woman console each other at the Nasser Medical Hospital following Israeli airstrikes near the Red Crescent Gate in the Al-Amal district, in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, 27 December 27, 2023 [Ahmad Salem/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) announced today the complete closure of Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Yunis, Gaza, following the forced evacuation of hospital staff and patients by the Israeli occupation forces. According to Wafa news agency, entrances to the hospital have been sealed off with dirt barriers.

The PRCS revealed that Israeli occupation forces had besieged Al-Amal Hospital two days prior to the closure, amidst intense shelling and gunfire, resulting in the deaths of a Palestinian civilian and a Red Crescent team member. Moreover, the occupation forces opened fire on two PRCS teams as they worked to clear rubble, creating a path for vehicles to facilitate the safe evacuation of casualties.

The society expressed further concern over the shutdown of Al-Amal Hospital, blaming the international community’s inability to ensure the essential protection of medical staff, patients and displaced individuals. It emphasised that the hospital endured a siege lasting over 40 days and was subjected to repeated bombings prior to occupation forces re-establishing the blockade and forcing all occupants to evacuate.

The closure comes after reports last week indicating that communication with staff at Al-Amal Hospital had been cut off, and Israeli drones had called for everyone inside to walk out of the premises naked, threatening further escalation. The PRCS said Israeli troops threw smoke bombs into the hospital to force medical teams, patients and those who were forcibly displaced out of the building.

The attacks on hospitals and their surroundings have caused numerous casualties, forced displacements and a dire situation where patients battle to access necessary medical care. UNICEF spokesman James Elder has said that just 12 of the 36 hospitals in the Gaza Strip are only partially operational.

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