lunes, mayo 20

Israel-Gaza War Live Updates: Israel Retakes Towns From Hamas Fighters and Moves to Control Border

Gaza’s medical system and infrastructure have come under attack by Israeli airstrikes, the health ministry in the territory said on Tuesday, as hundreds of wounded fill hospital operating rooms and intensive care units.

At least five medical workers have been killed, the ministry said.

“The Israeli occupation has expanded its circle of targets to the medical teams, the health facilities and ambulances,” said Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesman for the Gaza health ministry.

Israel has said its strikes are targeting all sites connected with Hamas, the armed Palestinian group that controls the Gaza Strip, including the homes of members. Israel said it believes Hamas members are hiding in homes, schools and hospitals. Because its members are Palestinians from Gaza, they live among the community.

Seven hospitals have been struck with Israeli airstrikes and one of them was bombed out of operation, Mr. al-Qidra said. His account could not be immediately verified, but the United Nations has said that at least two hospitals, multiple homes and two centers run by the Palestine Red Crescent Society have been hit.

The strikes came as part of Israel’s response to Saturday’s attack, when hundreds of Palestinian gunmen swept across Israel’s border with Gaza, killing hundreds of civilians and soldiers and firing thousands of rockets toward the center of the country. On Monday, Israel’s defense minister announced a “complete siege” of Gaza, saying “no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel” would be allowed in.

Volker Türk, the United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights, on Tuesday warned that a full siege of Gaza would exacerbate the “already dire” humanitarian situation in the coastal territory and would hurt hospitals’ ability to treat the growing number of wounded.

At least 765 Palestinians have been killed since Saturday and 4,000 injured, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

Gaza, a small densely populated enclave that is home to more than two million people, has been under a severe blockade imposed by Israel, and backed by Egypt, for 16 years, limiting what can go in, including medicines and medical equipment.

“The hospitals in Gaza are in a very critical situation as a result of this oppressive siege and has led to a big shortage of medicine and medical tools and fuel,” Mr. al-Qidra said, referring to the new bombardment. “Everyone needs to bear responsibility to save the medical work in Gaza.”

Children running toward Al Shifa Hospital after hearing the sound of nearby strikes.Credit…Samar Abu Elouf for The New York Times

The heavy Israeli bombardment has made movement in the streets dangerous and ambulances have had difficulty transporting the dead and wounded. Instead, people have at times relied on borrowed vehicles, tuk-tuks or motorcycles.

The health ministry said that at least nine ambulances had been struck since Saturday.

“The health system was already suffering before this war,” said Dr. Mohammed Abu Mughaiseeb, the deputy medical coordinator in Gaza for Doctors Without Borders, widely known by its French name, Médecins Sans Frontières.

He said he has seen people coming to schools and hospitals for shelter because they feel these are the safest areas — though they may not be. A building next to Al-Shifa hospital, Gaza’s largest, was struck, he said, and shrapnel hit the hospital.

“If the current situation continues, we are now in day four, there will be a critical impact not just on the medical system but on every aspect of life in Gaza,” he said.