UN Office in Gaza city shelled, WHO loses contact with Al-Shifa Hospital

New Delhi, Nov 12: Achim Steiner, the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has announced that one of the organisation’s offices in Gaza City was subjected to shelling overnight.

The attack reportedly resulted in casualties among civilians who sought shelter within the premises.
Expressing his outrage, Achim Steiner condemned the incident, stating, “This is wrong on every count.” In a post shared on social media platform X, the UNDP administrator emphasized the importance of protecting civilians, civilian infrastructure, and the inviolability of UN facilities.

WHO LOSES CONTACT WITH AL-SHIFA HOSPITAL IN GAZA URGENTLY CALLS FOR CEASEFIRE AND SAFE MEDICAL EVACUATIONS

In another development, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported last night that it had lost communication with its contacts at Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital. The WHO speculates that its contacts may have joined the “tens of thousands of displaced people fleeing the area” due to the escalating attacks on the hospital.

Expressing “grave concerns,” the WHO highlighted the perilous situation faced by the hospital staff and patients, including infants on life support and displaced individuals trapped amidst the ongoing conflict. The organization called for an “immediate ceasefire in Gaza” as the sole means to safeguard lives and alleviate the escalating suffering.
In a social media post, the WHO reiterated its plea for more “sustained, orderly, unimpeded, and safe medical evacuations” for critically injured and sick patients. The organization specifically emphasized the need for these evacuations to be directed towards Egypt via the Rafah crossing.

AL QUDS HOSPITAL IN NORTHERN GAZA DECLARED NON-OPERATIONAL, PRCS
The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has announced that the Al Quds hospital in northern Gaza is no longer operational due to the depletion of its fuel reserves. In a statement, the PRCS reveals that medical staff are grappling with the challenging task of treating patients in the absence of electricity, amid dire humanitarian conditions exacerbated by shortages of medical supplies, food, and water.
The statement, posted on social media platform X, highlights the precarious situation at Al Quds hospital, describing it as being left to fend for itself amidst continuous Israeli bombardment. This poses severe risks to the medical staff, patients, and displaced civilians within the facility.

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ISRAELI MILITARY AGREES TO ASSIST IN EVACUATING BABIES FROM AL-SHIFA HOSPITAL
Amid dire conditions, the Israeli military has announced its commitment to aiding the evacuation of newborns from Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital to a reportedly safer facility. Disturbing images, obtained by the

BBC and other media houses from the hospital reveal at least 20 infants being housed in a surgical theatre at the beleaguered hospital encircled by the Israeli troops.
Reports from a doctors’ group indicate that two premature babies have succumbed to the challenging conditions exacerbated by a lack of electricity at Al-Shifa. A surgeon previously disclosed that the facility faced shortages of water, food, and power. The evacuation process for dozens of babies from the intensive care unit is inherently delicate, especially given the current hostilities in northern Gaza, where Al-Shifa Hospital is located.

While Israel expresses its commitment to facilitating the evacuation, the hospital staff remains uncertain about the details. The head of surgery at Al-Shifa warns that other hospitals in the region lack the expertise and facilities required to care for the 37 babies who were initially in the neonatal unit before it lost power.
The Israeli military denies direct attacks on the hospital but acknowledges engagements with Hamas militants in the area, accusing the group of operating from tunnels beneath the medical facility and using civilians and patients as human shields.
Israel asserts its assistance, citing previous evacuations from Nasser and Rantisi hospitals. Israel maintains the existence of a safe exit route for patients, including those seeking refuge at Al-Shifa, to travel south into Gaza. However, heavy fighting in the vicinity and reports of evacuees being targeted raise significant safety concerns among those within the hospital.

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An evacuation corridor is announced from Al-Shifa Hospital to Gaza’s main road south, with the Israeli military urging people to move to the southern Gaza Strip. A temporary pause in fighting around Jabalia is confirmed, providing a limited window for evacuation. Hundreds of patients and those staying in and around the hospital have left for safer places using the evacuation corridor.
Israeli military spokesperson Libby Weiss stresses that the IDF is not targeting Al-Shifa hospital but responding to Hamas-initiated fire in proximity. The hospital’s dire conditions, including water, food, and electricity shortages, are acknowledged, with Israel committing to evacuating babies to a safer hospital to avert further harm to the infant.

ISRAEL’S DEFENCE MINISTER ISSUES STERN WARNING TO HEZBOLLAH AS TENSIONS ESCALATE

In a televised address, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautioned Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed militia, against initiating a war, emphasizing the significant consequences it could hold for Lebanon. Responding to an earlier speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Netanyahu stressed that any war would determine the fate of Lebanon.
Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, who followed Netanyahu’s address, employed even stronger language in his warnings to Lebanon and Hezbollah. Gallant revealed that the Israeli Air Force was currently active on the Israel-Lebanon border, underscoring the military’s preparedness for any potential escalation.

Gallant delivered a stark message to the citizens of Lebanon, stating, “The citizens of Lebanon should know that if Nasrallah makes a mistake, then the fate of Beirut may be like the fate of Gaza.”
Hassan Nasrallah, in his second address, announced an intensified offensive against Israel in the past week, emphasizing ongoing attacks from southern Lebanon. He referred to these actions as a “support front” and disclosed the use of weapons such as explosive drones and a missile carrying an explosives payload ranging from 300 to 500kg, striking deeper into Israeli territory.

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In his televised speech, Nasrallah also touched upon recent attacks by militias against US bases in Iraq and Syria, as well as the actions of Houthi rebels in Yemen. He clarified that while these groups, including Hezbollah, are part of the “Axis of Resistance” in the region supported by Iran, Tehran provides political, military, and financial support but does not make decisions on their behalf.
Israel started attacking Gaza because of the Hamas attacks on October 7th.

In those attacks, 1,200 people died, and over 200 were captured whose fate is still unknown. Israel says until the hostages are released, no ceasefire can happen, however, a “humanitarian pause” for four hours daily, after the intervention of the US and Qatar has been allowed since Friday. The health ministry of Gaza reports that more than 11,000 people have been killed in Gaza since then.

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