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Al-Shifa Hospital Suspends Operations, Arab-Islamic Summit Commences in Riyadh

November 11, 2023
Photo credit: BBC.

As the war on Gaza enters its 36th day, al-Shifa hospital in Gaza suspended operations on 11 November due to lack of fuel, with Palestinian Health Minister Mai Alkaila saying that 39 premature babies are at the risk of death. Meanwhile, the Arab-Islamic Summit commences in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Update 7: The Arab-Islamic Summit commenced on 11 November in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to discuss strategies for halting the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza.

The summit — which merged the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) meetings — is gathering Arab and Muslim leaders to present a united stance and coordinate efforts to end the Israeli hostilities in Gaza.

“We are facing a humanitarian catastrophe that proves the failure of the Security Council and the international community to put an end to the flagrant Israeli violations of international laws,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in an address to the summit.

Update 6: Operations in al-Shifa hospital in Gaza have been suspended on 11 November after it ran out of fuel.

“As a result, one newborn baby died inside the incubator, where there are 45 babies,” Ashraf Al-Qidra, the spokesman for the Health Ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza told Reuters.

Update 5: At least 39 premature babies are at risk of death at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza due to lack of oxygen if electricity cuts off, Palestinian Health Minister Mai Alkaila said in a press conference on 11 November.

The minister stated that this could be attributed to Israel’s reported bombing of al-Shifa hospital — which targeted the fourth floor of the Obstetrics and Gynecology ward and the outpatient clinics — and the cut off of power supply to the pediatric intensive care unit.

“Targeting hospitals, medical and ambulance personnel in the Gaza Strip, in light of the ongoing Israeli aggression for the 36th day in a row, is a war crime and genocide,” said Alkaila.

Update 4: The Israeli Defense Forces denied the reported attack on al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, indicating that the attack was the result of a misfired projectile by Hamas.

Earlier on 10 November, Ashraf Al Qudra, spokesperson for the Gaza Health Ministry, reported that al-Shifa Hospital had been targeted by Israeli airstrikes five times since the night of 9 November.

“An examination of IDF operational systems indicates that a misfired projectile launched by terrorist organizations inside the Gaza Strip hit the Shifa Hospital. The misfired projectile was aimed at IDF troops operating in the vicinity,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry said on X on 11 November.

Update 3: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that any harm done to the civilians in Gaza is Hamas’ responsibility.

In a statement regarding French President Emmanuel Macron’s statements saying that Israel must abide by law, Netanyahu said that Hamas is committing a crime against humanity.

“The crimes being committed today by Hamas – ISIS in Gaza will be committed tomorrow in Paris, New York, and all over the world,” he said. “The leaders of the world should be condemning Hamas – ISIS, not Israel.”

Update 2: Israel revised the death toll killed in the 7 October attack by Hamas to ‘about 1,200’ from the previous 1,400 figure.

“This is the updated number. It is due to the fact that there were a lot of corpses that were not identified and now we think those belong to terrorists, not Israeli casualties,”
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiatsaid said to AFP on 10 November.

Update 1: The Indonesian hospital in Gaza announced a complete power cut in all hospital facilities after running out of fuel, Palestinian state-run news agency WAFA reported late on 10 November.

The hospital administration had previously warned of a complete blackout due to a lack of fuel reserves. Medical sources said that a complete blackout of the hospital could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe.

The Conflict So Far

After a surprise attack conducted on 7 October by Hamas on a number of southern Israeli towns which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,200 people and more than 220 being taken hostage by Hamas, Israel launched a retaliatory bombing campaign against what it describes as ‘terrorist targets’ in the Gaza Strip.

Around 11, 025 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip — including at least 4,506 children — and over 27,000 others injured. Meanwhile at least 183 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank and at least 2,200 have been injured.

The priority of the Egyptian government since the beginning of the conflict has been deescalation and the securing of a path for aid to enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. Israel bombed the crossing at least six times, and limited aid trucks have crossed to Gaza so far, which UN officials warn is insufficient amid dire humanitarian conditions.

Most Western countries, with the United States at the forefront, have expressed unconditional support for Israel, despite the steadily rising death toll in Gaza. Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly has issued a resolution calling for a ceasefire.

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