Israeli tanks have surrounded a Gaza hospital, its director told CNN, as strikes reportedly hit the area of other healthcare facilities in the Strip — heightening fears Friday that Israel’s military campaign is further endangering patients and medical staff in the besieged territory.
Mustafa al-Kahlout, who heads the Al Nasr hospital and Al Rantisi Pediatric hospital in northern Gaza, told CNN that they were surrounded and asked for the Red Cross to assist with an evacuation. “We are completely surrounded, there are tanks outside the hospital, and we cannot leave,” al-Kahlout said.
The hospital complex is close to Sheikh Radwan neighborhood and Al Shati camp, where ground fighting was reported by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas separately.
“We do not have electricity, no oxygen for the patients, we do not have medicine and water,” al-Kahlout said. “We do not know our fate.”
His call comes after strikes were reported near at least two other hospitals in northern Gaza.
In a Facebook statement, Al Awda hospital said that due to the “targeting (of) the vicinity of Al Awda Hospital… and the vicinity of the Indonesian Hospital” by Israeli forces, 10 of its employees were injured, infrastructure was hit and nine vehicles were impacted.
This included “two ambulances that were completely damaged,” the hospital statement said.
In a separate statement, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said one of their volunteers had been injured and two ambulances rendered unusable by a strike near Al Awda hospital. The group also shared images and a video of two ambulances with their windscreens shattered in what appears to be the hospital parking lot. It was not immediately clear if PRCS was referring to the same ambulances mentioned in the hospital’s statement.
The IDF has not commented on the incidents but has repeatedly called on civilians to move south of Wadi Gaza, a waterway bisecting the center of the Strip, as it intensifies its assault on Gaza City and the north of the territory. The IDF has said Hamas is embedding itself in civilian infrastructure and that it will strike Hamas “wherever necessary.”
Read about the reported airstrikes near hospitals in northern Gaza.