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Israel stormed Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza

Israel stormed Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza

– I am very distraught and feel the curse of the situation in the Gaza Strip, this is what MSF Secretary-General Lindis Hurum told VG.

We now see another example of the pattern in which Israel violates international humanitarian law with its military operations in Gaza hospitals. This is not the first time we have commented on this

<-Lindis Hurum

Secretary General of Doctors Without Borders

During the night and into Monday morning, the first reports of explosions and gunfire came in the Shifa Hospital area in Gaza City.

Dramatic scenes were reported from the hospital.

Al Jazeera wrote that its employees in Gaza say that shots were fired at the hospital and that people were injured. They also write that a fire broke out in one of the hospital's surgical departments.

More than 80 people are said to have been arrested in the raid, according to the Israeli army, which claims some of them are terrorists.

According to Palestinian health authorities, a number of them must have been killed.

The Israeli army confirmed the exchange of fire. They say, according to Haaretz, that their soldiers were fired upon when they were on their way to arrest what they call terrorists, and that they returned fire.

Previous storm: Also in November, Israeli forces carried out an attack on Al-Shifa Hospital. Photograph: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters/NTB

– No comparison

Since the outbreak of war, Israel has attacked hospitals in Gaza several times. They believe that Hamas is staying in hospitals, which Hamas denies.

Horom confirms that forces can carry out operations in hospitals that are used for purposes other than protection.

– But the burden of proof falls on the Israeli forces. They must first provide evidence and ensure that patients and staff can be safely evacuated and treatment can continue. He is not in his place now.

-I'm cursed for letting this go on for so long. War is always cruel, but this is something else.

As a field worker, Horum himself witnessed involvement in attacks in war. But she believes the Israeli war in Gaza stands out.

– The extent and pattern of this, done time and time again by a sophisticated defense that clearly has a good view of the rules that apply in war, and which is supported by the world's great powers, means that this cannot be compared.

– Think about it every day

A total of 30,000 people reside here, according to Palestinian health authorities. This number has not been confirmed by independent sources.

– It's not an unrealistic number. It is a very large hospital complex with many buildings, and people look together in such situations. She says and adds: There are probably several thousand.

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-It no longer operates as a hospital. People use it more or less as a refugee camp.

Horom confirms that the attack comes after many months of despair and hopelessness. On Monday, 31,726 people will be killed in Gaza.

– My colleagues and I at MSF think about this every day – that people cannot go out, cannot seek safety, cannot get medical help. This combination makes me feel hopeless.

On Monday morning, the Israeli army asked civilians in Al-Shifa Hospital and the surrounding area to evacuate.

– It seems reasonable. Where should they evacuate to? It is the minimum to ensure that hospitals and staff reach safety and can continue treating patients. There are no other functioning hospitals they can use.

– There is no humanitarian solution to this suffering, only a political solution called a ceasefire.

– A major setback

Norwegian chief medical officer and project advisor for the relief organization NORWAC, Geir Stray Andersen, recently returned home after two weeks in Gaza.

There he performed surgeries on seriously injured patients.

The fact that Israel has once again moved to Al-Shifa Hospital makes him feel uncomfortable.

– It's a big setback. The health situation in northern Gaza is very difficult. There is hardly any access to medicine, food and water.

Chief Medical Officer and Project Coordinator at the relief organization NORWAC, Geir Stray Andersen, Photo: Exclusive/Handout

Within a few weeks, NORWAC plans to send a new team to Gaza, and Al-Shifa Hospital is one of the sites being considered.

For ten years, Andreasen moved in and out of the pocket. But it has never been the same now.

– It is very extreme, and the humanitarian situation and the extent of the damage have never been the same as they are now, he tells VG.

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In the hospital, the injuries were serious.

– Whoever comes to hospitals with infected injuries, has to go through many interventions. The blast injuries we see have great energy, tearing apart bones and arms.

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