Dozens killed in Israeli bombings targeting Gaza hospitals, says health ministry

Dozens of Palestinians were killed in Israeli bombings targeting two hospitals in the northern region of the war-battered Gaza Strip, the enclave’s health ministry said.

The victims included both health workers and patients, sparking concerns of another potential massacre at the Indonesian hospital in the city of Bait Lahia.

“There are dozens dead from an Israeli bombardment on the Indonesian hospital. There are fears that the occupation will carry out another massacre (at the medical center),” the Hamas-controlled health ministry said.

On Monday, at least 12 people, including injured and medical personnel, were killed in attacks by the Israeli army on the Indonesian hospital, the ministry said.

It said dozens more were reported “dead and wounded from an Israeli bombing on Al Awda hospital” in Jabalia in the north of the Gaza Strip, bordering Bait Lahia and surrounded by the Israeli Army.

“The occupation (Israeli forces) are attacking other hospitals in northern Gaza,” the ministry said.

The health ministry warned of ongoing attacks on other hospitals in northern Gaza, emphasizing the siege on the Indonesian hospital.

“The Indonesian hospital is besieged. Those leaving the facility are considered at risk and susceptible to indiscriminate bombings. There is no information about the condition of the patients,” a Gaza health ministry spokesperson said.

A medical source from the surgery department of the Indonesian hospital said the situation was “tragic and indescribable.” “There are bodies in the hospital.”

It is the sixth direct attack that the Indonesian hospital has suffered since the war began on Oct. 7, the UN humanitarian agency said.

Israel has targeted several mosques, marketplaces, schools, and hospitals in its military offensive on Gaza in the last six weeks of the war, arguing that Hamas militants were using civilian infrastructure for military purposes.

Earlier this week, the Israeli Army released images showcasing tunnels allegedly built by Hamas in the Al Shifa hospital area, claiming the militants used them to hide weapons and execute attacks.

The Israeli Army said on Tuesday that it surrounded Jabalia, where its fighter planes, armed drones, and special forces supported ground troops to destroy “three tunnels where terrorists were hiding.”

Electricity shortages and a lack of drinking water, food, and medical supplies have forced all hospitals in the northern part of the strip, including the crucial Al Shifa hospital, to cease operations.

Israel declared war on Hamas on Oct. 7 after a multi-pronged attack by the Islamist group that included rocket launches and the infiltration of about 3,000 militants.

The Hamas strike killed about 1,200 people as the fighters kidnapped more than 240 from Israeli villages near the Gaza Strip.

Since then, Israeli air, naval, and ground forces have been bombing the Palestinian enclave, killing more than 13,300 people, mostly children, women, and the elderly.

More than 6,500 people are missing who could be under rubble, the Gaza authorities said, fearing the death toll could be higher.

More than 1.7 million people, or over two-thirds of the total population, have been displaced by the war as they suffered from a severe humanitarian crisis

By Muhammad Umair