MSF doctor warns of 'inhuman' conditions in main Gaza hospital

MSF doctor warns of 'inhuman' conditions in main Gaza hospital
Amid Israel's brutal siege on and assault in and around Al-Shifa hospital, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has described the conditions that has saw 34 patients die, including 7 babies.
3 min read
13 November, 2023
Israel's attacks on Al-Shifa hospital have been relentless [Getty]

Hundreds of people stranded in Gaza's biggest hospital were enduring "inhuman" conditions on Monday while Israel continued to wage war around them, a doctor said as the Gaza health ministry reported a rising patient death toll.

UN agencies and doctors in the facility warned a lack of generator fuel was claiming lives, including infants.

Witnesses reported intense air strikes, with tanks and armoured vehicles just meters from the gate of the sprawling Al-Shifa compound at the heart of Gaza City, which Israel has turned into an urban war zone as it presses ahead with a ground invasion and continues its bombardment. 

"The situation is very bad, it is inhuman," a surgeon with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the medical charity group, wrote on social media.

"We don't have electricity. There's no water in the hospital," added the doctor, who was not named.

The Gaza government's deputy health minister Youssef Abu Rish said the death toll inside Al-Shifa rose to 27 adult intensive care patients and 7 babies since the weekend as the facility suffered fuel shortages.

Gaza has been reliant on generators for more than a month after Israel cut off power supplies and the besieged territory's only power plant ran out of fuel.

A lack of fuel was also hitting the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA. The group's Gaza chief Thomas White said operations "will grind to a halt in the next 48 hours as no fuel is allowed to enter" the territory.

The World Health Organization in the Palestinian territories said early Monday that at least 2,300 people -- patients, health workers and people fleeing fighting -- were inside the crippled Al-Shifa facility.

The Israeli army pushed on with their campaign, determined to destroy the movement whose gunmen it says killed at least 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took about 240 hostages in the country's worst ever attack when they stormed across the militarised border from Gaza.

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Israel said 44 of its troops have been killed in its Gaza ground operation.

But Israel is facing intense international pressure to minimise civilian suffering amid its massive air and ground war that authorities has killed at least 11,240 people, including 4,609 children.

Israel's top diplomat, as quoted by his spokesman, said the nation has "two or three weeks until international pressure really steps up."

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen added that Israel is working to "broaden the window of legitimacy, and the fighting will carry on for as long as necessary."