U.S. President Joe Biden called for medical facilities in Gaza to be protected, as Israel continues its offensive in the region. “Hospitals must be protected,” he said at an Oval Office event on Monday, calling for “less intrusive action” by Israeli forces.
This comes as the World Health Organization states the situation at the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City has grown increasingly dire and that a cease-fire is necessary to preserve civilian lives. The WHO has said that al-Shifa has ceased to function.
The Israeli Defense Forces have denied that al-Shifa is under siege and said they would help evacuate babies from the hospital. Meanwhile, IDF spokesperson Jonathan Conricus signaled the defense forces have ongoing intentions to ramp up operations in the north of the Gaza Strip.
Israeli military plans ‘major operations’ in the north of the Gaza Strip
The Israel Defense Forces have ongoing intentions to ramp up operations in the north of the Gaza Strip, a spokesperson signaled in a CNN TV interview.
“We have been asking, pleading and telling for more than two and a half weeks for the northern part of Gaza to evacuate. And we didn’t say it just for the fun of it, we said it because we’re going to conduct major operations,” IDF spokesperson Jonathan Conricus said.
For over a week, the Israeli military has said it is implementing daily pauses in fighting for several hours to allow the southward evacuation of Palestinian civilians across two main roads. Fears have mounted that Israel plans a next-stage ground incursion to storm Gaza City, but a full-scale offensive has yet to materialize despite the deployment of Israeli tanks and infantry on Gaza territory.
Conricus said that Palestinian people will find refuge in a so-called humanitarian zone in the south of the strip.
“Sadly, I cannot say that any area is totally out of friction, because Hamas operatives are everywhere and they are conducting fighting against us from all locations, and therefore we also attack them,” Conricus told CNN, stressing that Israel continues to distinguish between civilians and combatants in its operations.
Most recently, the IDF said its air force struck over 200 inimical targets over the past day, including Hamas operatives, weapon production sites, anti-tank missile launchers and command centers. The Israeli navy separately hit a military camp used by Hamas’ naval forces for training and weapons storage, the IDF said on Telegram.
CNBC could not independently confirm the reports.
— Ruxandra Iordache
Generator fails at al-Amal hospital in Gaza Strip
The sole power generator at the al-Amal hospital in Khan Younis, in the southwestern part of the Gaza Strip, stopped working, threatening the lives of 90 patients, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said late Monday on social media.
The hospital is affiliated with the organization. The facility is now relying on a small generator for electricity, which is only supplying the maternity ward and emergency lighting.
Fuel is expected to run out within the next 24 hours.
“The power generator’s failure is impacting the operations of both the PRCS headquarters and Al-Amal Hospital, which includes the emergency operations room for the Gaza Strip,” the PRCS said. “This has resulted in a loss of communication with the operation rooms scattered across the Gaza sector and the cessation of VHF communication services.”
Hospitals across the Gaza Strip have been gradually going offline, following the depletion of fuel supplies and the collapse of medical equipment. A total of 20 out of 36 hospitals in the Gaza Strip are no longer operational, the U.N. estimated earlier this week.
— Ruxandra Iordache
Israel says it will supply incubators for Gaza Strip infants
The Israel Defense Forces said on social media they are in the process of coordinating the transfer of incubator machines from Israel to the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, al-Shifa, where young infants have perished as a result of depleted fuel supplies and failing equipment.
It was not immediately clear when the incubators would arrive on site, how many units are being supplied and how they will be powered, given ongoing electricity shortages. Thirty-six babies were at risk at al-Shifa as of Monday, due to a lack of incubators, and three other infants died, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Doctors in Gaza and medical aid assistance groups have said that several hospitals in the region were blockaded by Israeli tanks and bombardment. Israel says it is targeting Hamas operatives, who have dug underground tunnel structures beneath Palestinian hospitals, effectively transforming them into military sites. Most recently, the IDF on Tuesday said they uncovered Hamas tunnels and a room where it is suspected that the Palestinian militant group held hostages beneath the Rantisi hospital.
Twenty out of 36 of the hospitals in the Gaza Strip are no longer functional, the U.N. estimates.
CNBC could not independently verify developments on the ground.
— Ruxandra Iordache
Photo shows IDF capturing Gaza parliament building
The photo shows the IDF’s Golani Brigade occupying the Palestinian parliament building in Gaza City. It is unknown who took the photo and released it originally.
The image, which has been verified by NBC News, began circulating widely online as Israel’s Defense Minister declared that Hamas has lost control of Gaza.
— NBC News
UN says Gaza fuel shortage hampers aid delivery, UN Palestinian refugee agency says it will halt operations unless fuel is allowed in
The fuel crisis in Gaza is so dramatic that trucks filled with aid arriving through the Rafah crossing from Egypt won’t be unloaded starting Tuesday because there is no fuel for the forklifts, or for vehicles to deliver the food, water and medicine they’re carrying to those in desperate need, a senior U.N. humanitarian official says.
Andrea De Domenico, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, said “lives in Gaza are hanging by a thread due to the bleeding of fuel and medical supplies.” And he said since Israeli troops arrived in Gaza City center five days ago, it has been too dangerous for the U.N. to coordinate any operation in the north.
De Domenico said in a video press conference with U.N. correspondents from east Jerusalem that the intensified fighting over the weekend around Shifa hospital, the biggest in Gaza City, damaged critical infrastructure including water tanks, oxygen stations and the cardiovascular facility in the maternity ward. Three nurses were reported killed, he said.
The director of the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees says all of the group’s aid operations in Gaza will cease in the next 48 hours unless fuel is allowed into the besieged enclave.
Thomas White, director of UNRWA in Gaza, made the comment on X, formerly known as Twitter.
UNRWA earlier said it had scaled back operations due to a lack of fuel.
— Associated Press
Israel releases video allegedly showing Hamas used hospital for fighters and hostages
Israel’s military released video Monday from what it said was a children’s hospital that its forces moved into over the weekend. The video showed weapons it said were found inside, as well as rooms in the basement where it believes the militants were holding some of the around 240 hostages they abducted during the initial attack.
“Hamas uses hospitals as an instrument of war,” said Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the army’s chief spokesman, standing in a room of the Rantisi Children’s Hospital decorated with a colorful children’s drawing of a tree, with explosive vests, grenades and RPGs displayed on the floor.
He showed another area that he said could have been used to hold hostages. It included what appeared to be a hastily installed toilet and air vent, a baby bottle and a motorcycle. He said forensic experts were examining the scenes.
— Associated Press
Biden on Al-Shifa and other hospital strikes: ‘Hospitals must be protected’
After an Oval Office event at the White House today, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell asked President Joe Biden about Israeli strikes on hospitals in Gaza.
Biden responded, “Hospitals must be protected.”
Biden also called for “less intrusive action” by Israeli forces.
Fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants has encircled the sprawling Al-Shifa medical facility, prompting thousands to flee.
Shifa hospital has been without electricity and water for three days, and gunfire and bombings outside the compound have made the situation more difficult.
“Well, as we know, I have not been reluctant expressing my concerns with what’s going on,” Biden said in the Oval Office. “My hope and expectation is that there will be less intrusive action relative to hospitals and we remain in contact with the Israelis.”
“Also there is an effort to get this pause to deal with the release of prisoners and that’s being negotiated … So I remain somewhat hopeful, but hospitals must be protected.”
Shifa hospital has been without electricity and water for three days and “is not functioning as a hospital anymore,” said World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Sunday. He said there has been gunfire and bombings outside the compound.
Patients there include dozens of babies at risk of dying because of a lack of electricity, health officials at the facility said.
— NBC News, Associated Press
Read CNBC’s previous live coverage:
Biden says Al-Shifa and other hospitals ‘must be protected,’ calls for ‘less intrusive action’