GAZA CITY (The Thursday Times) – Israeli forces have targeted a convoy of ambulances departing from al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City for southern Gaza to evacuate the injured in an airstrike on Friday, The Thursday Times has learnt. The strike reportedly occurred near Gaza’s largest hospital, leading to numerous Palestinian casualties.
Gaza’s health ministry reported scores of Palestinians killed and injured in the attack. Israel’s military stated it was investigating the report of the deadly strike on the ambulance convoy.
The government’s statement detailed that the targeted convoy was transporting the wounded from Gaza City towards Rafah in the south. Journalists on the scene recounted to The Thursday Times witnessing multiple bodies beside a damaged ambulance at the entrance to Al-Shifa hospital, which is currently grappling with severe overcrowding, as evidenced by a 164 percent bed occupancy rate reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
With 16 hospitals across Gaza now inoperative due to airstrike damages and fuel shortages, the health infrastructure is on the brink of collapse. The WHO cautioned earlier on Wednesday that the acute fuel scarcity is putting the lives of the wounded and other patients at immediate risk.
The ongoing conflict has left more than 23,500 people wounded across Gaza, with the death toll exceeding 9,200, as per Gaza’s health ministry. The war erupted following the killing of around 1,400 people in attacks by Hamas militants in Israel on October 7.
Health ministry spokesperson, Ashraf Al-Qudra, mentioned plans to urgently transfer critically injured Palestinians to Egypt for treatment, from Gaza City and the north to the south.