WHO loses contact with Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza

IDF announces evacuation routes from 3 hospitals, including Al-Shifa

TEL AVIV — The Israel Defense Forces said the military will facilitate evacuation routes from three hospitals in Gaza City — Al-Shifa, Al-Rantisi and Al-Nasr hospitals — so that those inside can move south.

In a statement, the IDF said soldiers “opened and secured a passage which enables the civilian population to evacuate, on foot and by ambulances” from the three hospitals.

The military shared a recording of a phone call it said was held between an officer from Israel’s Coordination and Liaison Administration to Gaza and a manager at Al-Shifa hospital. In the call, the hospital manager seems to express concern about the route due to “airplanes” in the area. The officer says “no, no, no — they aren’t ours” and says “anybody who wishes to move” can do so.

The IDF’s announcement came after the Palestinian Health Ministry said that three premature babies receiving care at Al-Shifa hospital and five people in its intensive-care unit had died. The medical complex faces a spiraling humanitarian crisis amid heavy bombardment and fighting near its grounds.

3 babies and 5 ICU patients die at Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza health officials say

TEL AVIV — Three premature babies and five intensive-care patients have died at Al-Shifa Hospital since it went “out of service” amid heavy bombardment and intense fighting outside the facility, the Palestinian Health Ministry said this morning.

The health ministry said the ICU patients died “due to a lack of oxygen yesterday.” Health officials also warned that at least 35 more babies born premature and receiving care at the hospital were at risk of death.

NBC News was not immediately able to independently verify the situation on the ground. Doctors at the hospital could not immediately be reached, and the World Health Organization said it had lost communication with its contacts at Al-Shifa.

The Israel Defense Forces said they would facilitate an evacuation route from the hospital today.

Arab and Muslim leaders make demands of Israel


Leaders of Arab and Muslim states across the Middle East today announced a list of demands for Israel as the war with Hamas threatens to draw allies on both sides into conflict.

Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation — the 57-member group of nations that organized the Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit in Riyadh — called for an end of “Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people,” according to an OIC statement.

“The Secretary-General called for an immediate, durable, and comprehensive cessation of the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people, for opening humanitarian corridors to deliver aid and essential needs to the Gaza Strip in an adequate and sustainable manner; and for providing international protection for the Palestinian people,” the OIC said.

Among the summit’s other demands: That war crimes investigations into actions by Israeli forces be completed, that nations stop sending weapons to Israel, and that the world recognize the “state of Palestine” as a sovereign country.

The OIC calls itself “the collective voice of the Muslim world.”

Gaza health minister says 37 premature babies at risk of death amid fuel embargo


TEL AVIV — Thirty-seven babies born premature and receiving care at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City are at risk of death because Israel’s fuel embargo has left the hospital and its medical devices without sufficient power, Gaza health ministry officials said today.

The office of the health ministry initially released a higher number of at-risk babies, then said one of them died today.

The office said the remaining babies at Al-Shifa, which has been a focus of Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza because they think Hamas militants are using subterranean tunnels below it as a headquarters, could die at any moment.

Fuel was expected to run out tonight, after which incubators will stop working, the office said.

Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, spokesperson for the Gaza health ministry, said five people died at Al-Shifa amid a previous power outage.

NBC News has been unable to verify Israel’s claim that Hamas was using space beneath the facility. U.S. officials said they have no reason to doubt it. Israeli officials have not responded to the statement that 37 babies were at immediate risk of death.

WHO says it lost communication with contacts at Al-Shifa Hospital


The World Health Organization said in a statement that it has lost communication with contacts at the embattled Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City as the facility has come under fire and appeared surrounded by Israeli forces.

The United Nations agency said Gaza’s largest hospital, under repeated attack in the last 48 hours and expecting its last ration of fuel to be used tonight, was surrounded by tanks.

“Staff reported lack of clean water and risk of the last remaining critical functions, including ICUs, ventilators and incubators, soon shutting down due to lack of fuel, putting the lives of patients at immediate risk,” the WHO said.

The statement further called for a cease-fire as well as “the sustained, orderly, unimpeded and safe medical evacuations of critically injured and sick patients.”

It was not immediately clear why the communication was lost. Al-Shifa officials have been warning that the medical complex was critically low on fuel and other supplies, and that the situation would affect the health and survival of patients.

Israel Defense Forces said Hamas militants have been occupying tunnels beneath the hospital, a claim NBC News has been unable to confirm.

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