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Israel raids, forces medical staff to leave Gaza Al-Awda Hospital

May 23, 2024 at 5:00 pm

A view from the surroundings of damaged Al-Awda Hospital after Israeli attacks, in Beit Lahia, Gaza on May 18, 2024. [Mousa Salem – Anadolu Agency ]

The Israeli occupation military stormed Al-Awda Hospital in Gaza and forced the medical staff to evacuate after a four-day siege.

According to Wafa news agency, Israeli occupation soldiers detained a medical worker and forced the remaining staff to evacuate towards the Western Gaza City area.

However, several doctors have refused to leave without an ambulance to safely evacuate the 14 injured patients, who remain trapped in the hospital.

The attack follows concerns expressed earlier this week by the World Health Organisation director-general regarding the safety of patients and staff at Al-Awda Hospital.

“Al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza has been under siege since 19 May, with no one allowed to leave or enter; 148 hospital staff, 22 patients and their companions are still trapped inside,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

He noted that medical staff inside the hospital reported an attack on Monday, “with snipers aiming at the building and an artillery rocket hitting the fifth floor, where the administration department is located.”

“We are deeply concerned about the safety of the remaining patients and hospital staff,” he added. “We appeal for their protection, for humanitarian access and an immediate ceasefire.”

More than 35,700 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, the vast majority being women and children, and nearly 80,000 others injured since October.

Nearly eight months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which, in January, issued an interim ruling that ordered it to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

Read: Panicked Gaza Hospital staff evacuates patients after missile strike, video shows