Israel offers to evacuate infants from damaged Gaza hospital

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On Sunday, the Israeli military announced its preparedness to evacuate infants from Gaza’s biggest hospital, following reports from Palestinian authorities that two newborns had passed away and many others were in danger due to fuel depletion during the ongoing conflict in the region.

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Amidst the deteriorating humanitarian conditions, the border authority of Gaza has announced the reopening of the Rafah crossing into Egypt specifically for foreign passport holders on Sunday. Additionally, Jordan has taken the initiative to air-drop further assistance to a field hospital located within the enclave.

In the past 48 hours, Hamas claimed responsibility for the destruction of over 160 Israeli military targets in Gaza, which included the disabling of 27 tanks and vehicles. The Israeli military spokesperson stated that as a result, Hamas had lost control over the northern region of Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed at a press conference on Saturday evening that five additional Israeli soldiers had lost their lives in Gaza. The Israeli military reported that a total of 46 soldiers had been killed since the commencement of their ground operations in the region.

Hamas continues to launch rockets from Gaza into southern Israel, despite Israel’s claims that over 1,200 people were killed and 200 were taken hostage by the militant group last month.

According to Palestinian officials, since October 7th, a total of 11,078 individuals residing in Gaza have lost their lives due to air and artillery strikes. Shockingly, approximately 40% of these casualties were innocent children.

Potential hostage deal reported

According to reports from Israel’s top three TV news channels, progress has been made towards a potential agreement to release hostages currently being held by Hamas in Gaza. However, no specific sources were cited in these reports.

Netanyahu declined to divulge specifics regarding a potential agreement, as per N12 News, that would entail the gradual release of 50 to 100 women, children, and elderly individuals over a period of three to five days amidst a temporary ceasefire.

Reports suggest that Israel may release Palestinian women and minors from prisons and contemplate the idea of allowing fuel to enter Gaza, however, they have made it clear that they maintain the right to resume military action.

Israeli soldiers engaged in clashes with Hamas militants overnight in and around Gaza City, where the Al Shifa hospital, the largest medical facility in Gaza, is situated. Gaza residents reported that the Israeli troops, who had launched a military operation to eradicate Hamas following their deadly attack on October 7th, were involved in the confrontations.

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Ashraf Al-Qidra, the representative of the health ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza, stated that the hospital has stopped operating since Saturday due to a depletion of fuel. Regrettably, two infants lost their lives in an incubator as a consequence of this unfortunate situation.

Al-Qidra informed Reuters that every possible and basic method is being employed to prevent further loss of lives. However, the patients and injured individuals remain in danger of losing their lives unless a resolution is reached to supply us with fuel or electricity.

Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the chief military spokesperson of Israel, has announced that the Israeli military will assist in the evacuation of infants from Al Shifa hospital, as requested by the hospital staff. According to Al-Qidra, there are a total of 45 babies in need of evacuation.

Al-Qidra was questioned about the evacuations and he responded by stating that they have not received any information regarding a procedure to transfer the infants to a safer hospital. Currently, their prayers are focused on ensuring the babies’ safety and preventing any further loss of life.

Previously, the World Health Organisation expressed deep concern regarding the safety of everyone trapped in the hospital due to the ongoing conflict. They also mentioned that they have lost contact with their associates in the area.

Israel has emphasized the need for doctors, patients, and the numerous evacuees seeking shelter in hospitals in northern Gaza to evacuate. Their objective is to address the presence of Hamas gunmen who have established command centers both within and around these medical facilities.

Hamas refutes allegations of utilizing hospitals in such a manner. Healthcare professionals emphasize that relocating patients could result in fatalities, while Palestinian authorities assert that the perilous situation caused by Israeli attacks prevents others from leaving.

Israeli Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter likened the evacuations to “Gaza’s Nakba,” drawing a parallel to the mass displacement of Palestinians following Israel’s establishment in 1948.

Dichter stated, “From an operational standpoint, it is impractical to wage a war within Gaza territories as the IDF envisions. The outcome remains uncertain.”

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