Conflicts & War

Israeli snipers target Gaza hospitals as health system collapses

Jerusalem, Dec 10 (EFE).- A leading Gazan medical official was wounded by Israeli sniper fire as he attempted to reach a warehouse storing medicine due to be delivered to hospitals in the Strip, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said Sunday.

The enclave’s health system is also on the verge of collapse, the ministry warned in a statement.

“As soon as (Gaza’s director of the pharmaceutical department Ashraf Abu Mahdi) arrived at the warehouses, he saw that snipers were occupying a nearby location and shot at him, resulting in his injury, along with the driver of the health services vehicle and a third person who was also wounded,” the ministry said.

According to the statement, “the (Israel) occupation forces attacked the ambulance that went to evacuate them as soon as it arrived”.

Palestinians have been accusing Israel of similar attacks on civilian and medical personnel since the start of the conflict on Oct. 7

According to the emergency service of the Palestinian Red Crescent, all of the hospitals in Gaza City and the north of the Strip are out of service.

Health centers in these areas are also besieged by the army and at risk of snipers.

“Israeli snipers and forces target anyone who tries to move in these areas. Neither rescue teams, ambulances nor humanitarian agencies can do anything because we don’t have safe access,” a Red Crescent spokeswoman told EFE.

This account coincides with the testimony of Mohamed Salha, a Palestinian who is in Al Awda Hospital in northern Gaza, where there are more than 250 people trapped among medical personnel, the sick, the wounded and their families.

He said the center has been surrounded for several days by Israeli troops “and almost no one can move” even inside it, and it is particularly dangerous to pass in front of the windows, in view of the snipers.

“Two of our colleagues were killed by sniper fire in recent days,” including a nurse, he said.

There is almost no food or water left, after Israel also attacked the hospital’s water tanks.

According to the health ministry, Israeli forces have “deliberately” attacked 132 health centers, leaving “22 hospitals and 46 health centers out of service”, while Israeli attacks have also caused the death of almost 300 health personnel.

Above all, the ministry appealed “to work immediately to provide medicines and fuel needed to operate Al Shifa hospital,” Gaza’s largest, which was dismantled and evacuated weeks ago, following an Israeli raid to uncover what it considered to be Hamas tunnels and military infrastructure inside.

Israel has repeatedly said that Hamas, the Islamist group that governs the Strip and which launched an attack on Israel in October triggering the current surge in violence, conceals military targets within civilian buildings and other infrastructure. EFE

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