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News / Nation & World

Largest hospital in central Gaza faces imminent shutdown

27 patients, staff remain at facility without fuel, water

By Associated Press
Published: May 23, 2024, 4:37pm

CAIRO (AP) — The director of one of the main hospitals in northern Gaza says around 27 patients and staff remain in the facility without water and little fuel, surrounded by Israeli troops.

Mohammed Salha said Thursday that Awda Hospital was largely evacuated a day earlier but that some of the patients could not taken out because there were no ambulances. He and other health workers were staying with them, he told The Associated Press.

The hospital has been surrounded by Israeli forces since Sunday amid days of fighting between troops and Hamas militants in the nearby Jabaliya refugee camp. During that time, artillery shelling hit the hospital’s fifth floor, and since then everyone has crowded into an emergency room on a lower floor.

The Israeli military declined comment on Awda Hospital, saying it would not comment on the locations of its forces.

There had been about 140 people inside the facility until most evacuated Wednesday. Israeli troops searched the hospital after the evacuation, and still surround it, Salha told the AP.

He said 14 health workers remain inside, treating 11 patients, including two children whose mothers stayed with them.

Salha said fuel was running out and there was no more clean water. “The little medicine we have is not enough,” he said, adding that there were medicines in a nearby storeroom but it was unreachable because of Israeli troops.