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Israel Orders Palestinians to Flee Parts of Southern Gaza, Continues Attacks on Hospitals

HeadlineNov 16, 2023

Dozens of Palestinians have been killed in a 41st consecutive day of unrelenting attacks by Israel’s military on the Gaza Strip. Overnight, Israel’s Air Force dropped leaflets over parts of the southern city of Khan Younis ordering people to leave their homes and shelters “for their own safety.” Many are being expelled for a second time, after Israel last month ordered more than a million Palestinians to leave their homes in northern Gaza.

On Wednesday, Israeli authorities allowed the first shipment of fuel into the Gaza Strip since early October. The U.N.'s agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, says just over 6,000 gallons of fuel — half a tanker truck's worth — was allowed to cross from Egypt. That’s just 9% of what UNRWA says is needed daily to sustain life-saving activities. Israel is not allowing the fuel to be used in hospitals or to power water and sewage pumps. 

The U.N.'s human rights chief, Volker Türk, said outbreaks of disease and hunger in Gaza now appear “inevitable.” His remarks came amid a worsening humanitarian catastrophe at Gaza's largest hospital, the Al-Shifa medical complex, which is being occupied by Israel’s army. Thousands of patients, medical workers and displaced Palestinians remain trapped inside the hospital and unable to leave. Medical workers report Israeli attacks have severely damaged Al-Shifa’s main surgery building, and about 200 people were reportedly blindfolded by Israeli troops and led away to interrogations. The World Health Organization’s Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says 26 out of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are now closed due to damage from Israeli strikes or because they have run out of fuel.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: “Israel’s military incursion into Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City is totally unacceptable. Hospitals are not battlegrounds.”

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