Gaza- “It was a difficult night” is a description used by Subhi Skaik, director of the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, when the surrounding area witnessed air raids by Israeli warplanes that caused severe damage to it, and spread terror among tumor and cancer patients, medical staff, and the displaced people there.
Among large areas in the Gaza Strip, last night witnessed violent Israeli air strikes. The surroundings of 3 hospitals in Gaza City, and the south and north of the Strip, were the scene of fire belts. These are simultaneous and intense raids.
The belts were concentrated near the “Friendship” hospitals in Gaza City, the “European Gaza” between the neighboring cities of Rafah and Khan Yunis in the south of the Gaza Strip, and the “Indonesian” hospitals in the north of the Gaza Strip.
According to officials and doctors in these hospitals who spoke to Al Jazeera Net, these violent and intense raids are a translation by fire of constant Israeli warnings and threats to evacuate them. This is an impossible procedure in their view, and they require great capabilities to transport thousands of sick and wounded people and many times their number of displaced people who took refuge in hospitals in search of lost safety after they were forced to flee their homes.
A few hours passed between two rounds of violent raids that shook the foundations of the “Friendship Hospital,” causing fires to ignite the third floor of one of its facilities, and causing severe damage to the eastern and western wings, amid a state of terror among the patients, their companions, and among the medical staff, according to Skaik’s description.
The director of the hospital told Al Jazeera Net, “At five o’clock in the evening on Monday, the Israeli raids caused severe damage to the western wing, and some of the electromechanical work systems were disrupted. At the same hour in the morning on Tuesday, fear spread in the hearts of the hospital residents, including patients, doctors, and nurses, as a result of violent raids that caused destruction.” In the eastern wing, which includes patient rooms.
These rooms include about 150 oncology patients, with a similar number of their companions, in addition to about 200 medical, nursing, and administrative staff at the hospital, according to Sakik.
According to Skaik, this hospital, which opened about two years ago with Turkish support, is the only one in the Gaza Strip that provides medical services to more than 10,000 of these patients in the Gaza Strip, such as diagnosis, chemotherapy, and functional treatments, while radiotherapy is not available due to the Israeli siege and weak capabilities, and is forced to Patients must travel to receive this treatment outside Gaza.
Between the jaws of bombing and disease
As a result of the damage to the hospital rooms, the hospital director says, “Patients were forced to sleep in the hospital’s corridors and roads, while some of them endured the aches and pains and left the place in the early hours of the morning, fearing for their lives trapped between the jaws of bombing and disease.”
Skaik appealed to Turkey to stop the Israeli “orgy” and protect this medical humanitarian edifice, which constituted an important shift in the care of cancer patients in Gaza.
Like other hospitals, the “Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital” is at risk of completely stopping work and collapsing its services within a few hours, unless the necessary fuel is supplied to it.
In this case, this medical center will join 12 hospitals and 32 health centers, all of which have been out of service since the beginning of the war, as a result of direct Israeli targeting, or running out of fuel, according to official data issued by the Ministry of Health.
Skaik confirmed that the danger is very close, Israeli air strikes are tightening the noose around the hospital, fuel is running out, and there are many medicines whose stock has become zero, in addition to complications in water supplies, communications services, and the Internet.
Due to what he described as force majeure and dangerous circumstances resulting from the Israeli aggression, thousands of cancer patients are deprived of receiving diagnostic and therapeutic services, due to their inability to move and reach the hospital.
Skaik, who has not left the place since the outbreak of the war 25 days ago, says that large numbers of medical and nursing staff are facing the dangers of the road and the conditions resulting from the bombing and displacement from homes, whether within one city, or from one area to another, without being able to reach the hospital. .
The medical official expresses great fear of the repercussions of the aggression on the rates of cancer spread among the population of the Gaza Strip, due to the absence of diagnostic services, in addition to the severe danger to the lives of about a thousand patients who had referrals for treatment abroad and were unable to travel following the outbreak of war.
The Israeli war has many teeth. During the past hours, it destroyed the “Indonesian Hospital,” the closest hospital in the Gaza Strip adjacent to the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip. Air strikes and artillery shelling caused material damage to it, and caused the electricity to be cut off from some patient departments, according to a statement by the hospital’s medical director, Marwan Al-Sultan. For Al Jazeera Net.
The Sultan said that the aerial artillery bombardment caused damage to medical equipment and partial destruction of hospital facilities, putting about 270 patients, including 250 of the Israeli war wounded – in addition to nearly two thousand displaced people who took refuge in the courtyards and corridors – in extreme danger to their lives.
According to the Indonesian medical director, who employs 300 medical, ambulance and nursing staff, the occupation army’s warnings and threats against him do not stop. He stressed that evacuation is an impossible measure for this small hospital, which is one of three hospitals providing services to the northern Gaza Strip, along with the “Martyr Kamal Adwan” Governmental Hospital and the “Al-Awda National” Hospital.
The Sultan asked, “How can we abandon our humanitarian responsibilities and evacuate this large number when our capabilities are weak and modest, and there are no safe paths in light of the violent Israeli bombing by air, land and sea?”
The Ministry of Health does not stop issuing urgent appeals to international bodies regarding the necessity of activating international humanitarian law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, to protect hospitals, medical teams, ambulances, and health centers, and to enable them to carry out their duties in rescuing the wounded and sick without threat or targeting.
Since the outbreak of the war, the Ministry of Health has documented the martyrdom of 130 health personnel, the destruction of 15 ambulances, the targeting of 57 health institutions, and the withdrawal of 12 hospitals and 32 primary care centers from service as a result of the targeting or the failure to bring in fuel.
The rest of the hospitals and health centers are also in danger, due to the escalation of aggression accompanied by a complete Israeli refusal to supply fuel for the fourth week in a row.