The Israeli military appears to be pushing further into Gaza City amid reports of fierce fighting.
Health officials and aid organizations have reported multiple attacks on hospitals, and the World Health Organization said early Sunday that it had lost communications with its contacts inside Al-Shifa, Gaza’s biggest health facility.
The Israeli Defence Forces late Saturday denied that Al-Shifa was under siege and said it would help evacuate babies from the hospital. Fears are growing that the facility could soon lose all power, leading to critical health machinery, such as ventilators and incubators, to fail.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated at a Saturday press conference that there will be no cease-fire until Hamas releases all of its more-than 200 hostages. He added that after the war, Israel will maintain security control in Gaza but will demilitarize the region.
WHO loses contact with those inside Al-Shifa hospital
The World Health Organization said early Sunday that it had lost communications with its contacts inside Al-Shifa, Gaza’s biggest hospital.
“As horrifying reports of the hospital facing repeated attacks continue to emerge, we assume our contacts joined tens of thousands of displaced people who had sought shelter on the hospital grounds and are fleeing the area,” WHO said in a statement on social media.
“There are reports that some people who fled the hospital have been shot at, wounded and even killed.”
The UN health agency said the latest reports indicate that the hospital is surrounded by tanks — something the Israeli military denied in an update late Saturday. CNBC was unable to confirm the situation on the ground.
WHO said that over the last 48 hours, the hospital had been “reportedly attacked multiple times, leaving several people dead and many others injured.” It added that staff said there was a lack of clean water and critical medical facilities, such as ventilators and incubators, which could soon be shut down due to a lack of fuel.
— Katrina Bishop
IDF says it will help evacuate babies from Al-Shifa hospital
The Israeli military said late Saturday that there is “no siege” on the Al-Shifa hospital, and pledged to help evacuate babies from the facility.
“The staff of the Shifa hospital has requested that tomorrow we will help the babies in the pediatric department to get to a safer hospital. We will provide the assistance needed,” IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a video posted to social media.
The east side of the hospital remains open for Gazans who wish to leave the hospital, he said. CNBC was unable to confirm this.
Hagari added that the IDF is speaking “directly and regularly” with hospital staff.
— Katrina Bishop
Netanyahu: Israel will continue to control security in Gaza postwar
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a Saturday press conference that after the war, Israel will maintain security control in Gaza but will demilitarize the region.
He also doubled down on his position that there will be no cease-fire until Hamas releases all of its over 200 hostages.
— Rebecca Picciotto
Power outages hit ICU and pediatric ward at Gaza’s main hospital, officials say
Power outages have hit the intensive care unit and the pediatric ward at Gaza’s main hospital, Palestinian health officials said Saturday.
An infant was among two people who died at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City “because we did not have electricity,” Dr. Marwan Abusada, a surgeon at the hospital who is also head of international cooperation at the Hamas-run Ministry of Health told NBC News in a telephone interview.
NBC News was not immediately able to independently confirm the situation on the ground.
A spokesperson for the Israeli military in a statement to NBC News said that there was “ongoing intense fighting against Hamas in the vicinity” of Al-Shifa hospital.
— Melodie Warner
Netanyahu to Macron: Condemn Hamas, not Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to criticism from French President Emmanuel Macron who said that Israel should stop killing civilians.
“The responsibility for any harm to civilians lies with Hamas – ISIS and not with Israel,” Netanyahu said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Friday.
In a Friday interview with the BBC, Macron said that he condemns the Oct. 7 Hamas attack but there is “no reason” and “no legitimacy” for Israel’s killing of innocent women, children and elderly people in Gaza. He also called for a cease-fire.
The Israeli Prime Minister responded that Israel is in the war because of the Oct. 7 attack and because Hamas still has over 200 hostages. Netanyahu has previously said that if Hamas releases its hostages, Israel will call a cease-fire. The Israel Defense Forces also said it would temporarily pause bombardment during certain time windows on Saturday to allow for the safe evacuation of civilians.
“The crimes being committed today by Hamas – ISIS in Gaza will be committed tomorrow in Paris, New York and all over the world,” Netanyahu said in his statement. “The leaders of the world should be condemning Hamas – ISIS, not Israel.”
Netanyahu has equated Hamas with the ISIS terrorist organization. It is important to note that they are different groups.
— Rebecca Picciotto
The Al-Shifa hospital has ‘stopped working,’ Gaza health officials say
Al Shifa — the largest hospital in Gaza — has no electricity or water, according to local health officials, who said it has “stopped working.”
In a Saturday news conference, Palestinian Ministry of Health Spokesman Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra said the hospital was “besieged.” The Ministry of Health is an agency within the Hamas-controlled government.
“We can say that the Al-Shifa Medical Complex has stopped working and is out of service due to the occupation’s targeting of everything that moves inside the complex,” he said, according to an NBC translation.
Al-Qudra said the Israeli military was currently bombing an area of the hospital, and those inside were unable to move location “due to the intensity of the bombing and the intensity of the fire.”
Also speaking at the press conference, Dr. Muhammad Qandil said there were many dead bodies both inside and outside of the hospital, which is “collapsing totally.”
“We are now calling the whole world, if there is any conscience still there, please [act] … Any politician in the world now who cannot put pressure to stop this war crimes against hospitals his hands are bloodied,” the emergency consultant said, according to an NBC translation of his comments.
Israel’s military says Hamas uses hospitals as operational bases and hides weapons in tunnels underneath them, although Hamas denies these charges. Last week, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said: “Hamas systematically exploits hospitals as part of its war machine.”
— Katrina Bishop