The floors of Gaza’s Indonesian hospital were crowded with wounded children on Thursday following Israeli airstrikes targeting the area.
The hospital, located in northern Gaza, found itself inundated with injured Palestinians as Gaza’s primary medical facility, Shifa Hospital, went out of service due to an Israeli ground offensive.
Palestinian medics expressed growing concern for the lives of hundreds of patients and medical staff at Shifa Hospital. The facility had been cut off from all external communication for more than a day after Israeli forces entered the premises.
The hospital, grappling to operate amid the influx of patients and displaced individuals, has garnered significant global attention this week. Israel claims that Hamas has used hospitals, including Shifa, to store weapons and ammunition while holding hostages in a network of tunnels, allegedly employing patients and those seeking shelter as human shields. Hamas denies these accusations.
“I was with my dad at my grandfather’s house. The strike happened very close to us, and my legs got all cut open, requiring stitches. When I got here, I didn’t have anyone with me. My parents don’t know yet that I’m here. I want to sleep, and I’m cold. I can’t stand or do anything. I just want to go home; that’s the most important thing,” expressed a Palestinian boy.
“Yesterday we went to the mosque to pray at sunset. During the first kneel, we found people all over the place. I was under a bunch of rocks, and other people were under the rubble. There were cut-up hands and legs, and we didn’t know if someone was going to come save us. The civil defense came and took them,” recounted another Palestinian boy.
As the conflict enters its seventh week, there is no indication of a ceasefire or humanitarian pauses despite international appeals. The conflict was sparked by a cross-border raid by Hamas militants on Oct. 7, resulting in approximately 1,200 Israeli casualties, mostly civilians, marking the deadliest day in the state’s 75-year history.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, over 11,500 Palestinians, including at least 4,700 children, have been killed in Israel’s retaliatory military assault on Hamas-ruled Gaza, a toll surpassing previous conflicts in recent years.