Netanyahu again rejects demand for ceasefire, fighting intensifies near main hospital in Gaza

Khan Younis (Gaza Strip), November 12 (AP) Israel carried out massive airstrikes and shelling in the area throughout Saturday night and Sunday morning amid fierce fighting between its troops and Hamas extremists near the Gaza Strip’s largest hospital. .

Health officials have said that thousands of medical workers, patients and displaced people are stranded due to power outages in hospitals and reduced availability of essential supplies.

Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday rejected the growing international appeal for a ceasefire. He said Israel’s fight to crush Hamas extremists ruling the Gaza Strip will continue with “full force”.

In a televised address, Netanyahu made it clear that a ceasefire was possible only if 239 people held hostage by extremists in Gaza were freed.

Israel has pledged to end Hamas’s 16-year rule in Gaza and its ability to carry out attacks. It has blamed Hamas militants for the impact of the war on the 2.3 million Palestinians trapped in the region.

In Gaza City, residents reported heavy airstrikes and shelling throughout the night in various areas, including the area around Shifa Hospital.

Israel has accused Hamas of building a command post inside and below the hospital complex. At the same time, Hamas and the hospital staff have denied these allegations.

“We spent the night nervously waiting for their arrival,” said Ahmed al-Borash, a man sheltering in place in the hospital. They’re out there, but not far away.’

It is not possible to independently ascertain the situation in and around the hospital.

The health ministry said there were still 1,500 patients in Shifa, as well as 1,500 medical workers and 15,000 to 20,000 people seeking shelter. Thousands of people have fled Shifa and other hospitals. Doctors said it is impossible for everyone to get out.

Another hospital in Gaza City, al-Quds, has now closed because it has run out of fuel, the Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said.

Gaza’s only power plant was forced to shut down a month ago, and Israel banned fuel imports, saying Hamas would use the fuel for military purposes.

Red Crescent spokesman Nabel Farsakh said 6,000 people were trapped in hospitals, including displaced families, patients and medical workers.

As the war enters its sixth week, international pressure on Israel for a temporary ceasefire is increasing.

A meeting of Muslim and Arab leaders from 57 countries in Saudi Arabia on Saturday called for an end to the war. At the same time, about 3,00,000 pro-Palestine protesters marched peacefully in London. It is the largest demonstration in the city since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.

Netanyahu stressed in his address that Gaza would be demilitarized after the war and Israel would maintain its security control over the territory. This stance contrasts with the views expressed by Israel’s closest ally, the United States, regarding post-war scenarios. America had said that it opposes the re-occupation of the area by Israel.

Asked what he meant by security controls, Netanyahu said Israeli forces should be able to enter Gaza when necessary to capture militants.

Doctors at Gaza’s largest hospital said a premature baby, a baby in an incubator and four other patients died after the area’s last generator ran out of fuel.

After this statement of the doctors, pressure on Israel for ceasefire is increasing. Thousands of wounded, medical workers and displaced civilians remain trapped in the war zone.

Israel has described Shifa Hospital as the main command post of Hamas and said that the terrorists are using the civilians there as shields and have built bunkers under it. This claim has been denied by Hamas as well as the Shifa administration. In recent days, fighting has intensified near Shifa and other hospitals in northern Gaza, disrupting essential supplies there.

“There is no electricity,” Shifa director Mohammed Abu Selmiya said, speaking by phone amid the sounds of gunfire and explosions. Medical equipment has stopped. Patients, especially those kept in ICU, have started dying.

Abu Selmiya said Israeli soldiers were ‘shooting anyone outside or inside the hospital’ and had blocked movement between buildings in the complex.

The Israeli military confirmed a clash outside the hospital, but Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari denied that Shifa was under siege. He said that the soldiers will help in shifting the babies undergoing treatment at Shifa from there on Sunday. “We are talking directly and regularly with hospital staff,” Hagari claimed.

Amos Yadlin, the former head of Israel’s military intelligence, told Channel 12 that since Israel’s goal is to crush Hamas, it will be important to establish control over hospitals, but in the meantime, patients, other civilians and Israeli hostages should not be harmed. , this also has to be taken care of.

AP Zoheb Subhash


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