‘Hospitals Must Be Protected’, Says Biden As Israeli Tanks Encircle Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital


United States President Joe Biden has called for the protection of hospitals as health facilities in Gaza struggle to function amid Israeli assault in the coastal strip. According to a Reuters report, Israeli tanks have taken up positions outside Gaza City’s main medical centre, Al-Shifa hospital which the Israeli military is saying is sitting atop tunnels housing a headquarters for Hamas fighters who are using patients as shields.

Meanwhile, the doctors at Al-Shifa hospital refused a mandatory evacuation order by the Israeli Defence Forces saying the 700 patients will be at risk if they would be transferred.  

Hamas has, however, denied the Israeli claim. 

The medical staff at Al-Shifa hospital said that three newborns had died at the medical centre and many more were at risk due to power outage amid Israeli blockade and bombardment. 

ALSO READ: Scores Of Injured Patients Trapped Inside Gaza Hospitals, Palestinian PM Urges UN For ‘Parachute Aid’ — Updates

Hospitals Must Be Protected: Biden

Making his first comments since the weekend’s events, including the death of patients at Al-Shifa, Biden said that the hospitals must be protected. 

“My hope and expectation is that there will be less intrusive action relative to hospitals and we remain in contact with the Israelis,” Biden told reporters at the White House on Monday.

“Also there is an effort to get this pause to deal with the release of prisoners and that’s being negotiated, as well, with the Qataris … being engaged,” he added. “So I remain somewhat hopeful but hospitals must be protected.”

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that the priority for the US was to get the hostages free and make humanitarian assistance available to Palestinians in Gaza. 

“The United States continues to work round the clock to support efforts to rescue and reunite hostages held by Hamas with their families where they belong. This includes many young children,”’said Sullivan. 

“This is a top priority for President Biden, for vice president Harris, for secretary Blinken, for me personally, we have all spoken with families of US citizens who are being held hostage by Hamas and have raised this issue with all of our counterparts. This remains a paramount priority for us,” he added. 

“The United States has also been leading efforts to increase the flow of life savings, sustained humanitarian assistance, food, water medicine into Gaza. While we’ve made some progress, much more is urgently needed to alleviate suffering among the civilian population in Gaza,” the NSA said. 

ALSO READ: India Suggests Measures To Canada To Stop ‘Attacks On Places Of Worship, Misuse Of Freedom Of Expression’

‘Patients Will Die’: Al-Shifa Doctors Deny Israel’s Evacuation Order 

Doctors at Al-Shifa hospital in northern Gaza refused to follow a mandatory order by the IDF to evacuate the health facility as they said it would put the lives of 700 patients at risk. “The problem is not the doctors, it’s the patients. And if they are left behind, they will die, and if they are transferred they will die on the way, this is the problem, we are talking about 700 patients,” Dr. Al-Bursh told CNN Monday.

“There has been no response until now by the doctors, but some of the displaced people and families have already been leaving,” he said.

Al-Bursh also said that the evacuation order is not coordinated with any international humanitarian agencies, such as the International Red Cross which raises concerns about the safety and feasibility of transferring such a large number of patients, many of whom are in critical condition and will die in transport. 


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *