Israel-Hamas Conflict: More Than 2 Million People Displaced In Gaza; Hospitals To Run Out Of Generator Fuel In 2 Days

Israel-Hamas Conflict: More Than 2 Million People Displaced In Gaza; Hospitals To Run Out Of Generator Fuel In 2 Days

There are 35 patients in the ICU who require ventilators and another 60 are on dialysis. If fuel runs out, "it means the whole health system will collapse," a doctor said, as children moaned in pain in the background.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Monday, October 16, 2023, 01:36 PM IST
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Palestinian children look at the building of the Zanon family, destroyed in Israeli airstrikes in Rafah, Gaza Strip. | PTI

Israel on Sunday gave a clear indication that it would soon invade Gaza, but at a time of its own choosing. Tens of thousands of its troops, supported by US warships deployed in the region, have positioned themselves along Gaza's border for an offensive by air, land and sea which would dismantle the Hamas leadership and "change the face of the middle-east."

The fear of being overrun by Israeli forces has spurred hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to evacuate the northern half of the territory. Urging Palestinians to leave the north en masse, the Israeli military gave the evacuees a ‘safe’ window, saying that it would refrain from targeting the main route south from 10 am to 1 pm. The military had offered two corridors and a longer window the day before.

Israel under UN's pressure

Israel is seemingly under pressure from the United Nations and some of its allies, who want any ground offensive to be put on hold till the civilians have left. Gaza's Health Ministry, however, said it would not evacuate hospitals. Our moral position obliges us to continue working, the ministry’s spokesman said in a statement. At Al Shifa Hospital, the Gaza Strip’s largest medical complex, the wounded were streaming in all day. But hospitals in Gaza are expected to run out of generator fuel within two days, endangering the lives of thousands of patients.

There are 35 patients in the ICU who require ventilators and another 60 are on dialysis. If fuel runs out, "it means the whole health system will collapse," a doctor said, as children moaned in pain in the background. Shifa hospital said it would bury 100 bodies in a mass grave as an emergency measure after its morgue overflowed, with relatives unable to bury their loved ones.

More than 2 million people displaced

Tens of thousands of people seeking safety have gathered in the hospital compound. Nearly half of Gaza’s population of more than two million people has already been displaced and is facing dwindling supplies of food and water, ever since Israel declared a complete siege and cut off basic supplies to the enclave. The possibility of a ground invasion has also raised concern about the safety of the 150 hostages Israelis and foreigners - - captured by Hamas during its rampage on Saturday.

The fighting along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon has also escalated in recent days. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been on a whirlwind tour of Arab nations in a bid to prevent the Israel-Hamas war from igniting a broader regional conflict. The US has been also trying to broker a deal to reopen Egypt's Rafah crossing with Gaza to allow Americans and other foreigners to leave and humanitarian aid amassed on the Egyptian side to be brought in.

Hamas rocket attacks on Israel continued on Sunday, spurring a broader evacuation from the southern Israeli city of Sderot. The Israeli military, in turn, claimed it had killed in an air raid a Hamas commander blamed for the killings at Nirim, one of several communities Hamas had attacked in southern Israel.

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