Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine
Stop Israeli attacks, pay health staff
Last night Beit Hanoun Hospital came under heavy Israeli shelling while 80 people, including medical staff, three patients, two International Solidarity Movement volunteers, and many civilians were trapped terrified inside. One Swedish activist received cuts to the head, and another person received minor injuries, although the hospital was severely damaged.
Numerous calls for help throughout the afternoon and evening by the Deputy Minister of Health Gaza to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were fruitless. Intervention by the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry eventually achieved an undertaking by Israeli military after midnight not to fire directly upon the hospital. All those inside were finally evacuated to safety this morning under the aegis of the Ministry of Health after the commencement of the 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire.
Beit Hanoun is the second Gazan hospital to have been evacuated and completely closed down in 48 hours due to damage from Israeli strikes, the other being Al Durrah paediatric Hospital in Gaza City, where a toddler in the intensive care unit was killed on Thursday night.
The ceasefire also allowed the retrieval of bodies from beneath the rubble of buildings destroyed overnight during the heavy bombardment of Beit Hanoun; 32 bodies have been found at this time. (more…)