GAZA CITY (The Thursday Times) — The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) revealed on Sunday that Israeli forces have issued a grave warning to evacuate the al-Quds Hospital in Gaza, threatening that it is set to be bombed. The hospital, situated in the Tal al-Hawa area of Gaza City, has become a sanctuary for the war-affected, housing not only hundreds of injured patients including those in critical condition and newborns but also providing refuge to around 12,000 unarmed displaced civilians, predominantly women and children.
This evacuation order came with a deadline, set for 1300 GMT on the subsequent Saturday, ramping up the fear and tension among the hospital staff and the civilians taking refuge there.
The situation elicited international concern, with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), echoing the gravity of evacuating a hospital brimming with patients, as it would jeopardise numerous lives. He emphasised the imperative of safeguarding healthcare facilities under International Humanitarian Law.
The al-Quds Hospital has been a pivotal healthcare provider amid the ongoing Israeli bombardment, with its medical personnel, operating rooms, and ambulance crews tirelessly serving hundreds of thousands in the northern Gaza Strip. The hospital premises witnessed a significant gathering of displaced individuals seeking refuge, as depicted in aerial images captured post the evacuation threat. These images also revealed a prepared medical team and ambulances stationed at the entrance, indicating the hospital’s preparedness amidst the crisis.
U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib urged President Joe Biden on Friday to exert pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to rescind the evacuation order. The directive, as pointed out by Tlaib, poses an imminent bombing threat unless the inhabitants vacate the facility, thereby putting thousands of lives in jeopardy.