Israel Offers To Evacuate Babies From Gaza Hospital

Smoke rises as displaced Palestinians take shelter at Al Shifa hospital || Photo: Reuters

Smoke rises as displaced Palestinians take shelter at Al Shifa hospital || Photo: Reuters

Israel's chief military spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, said the Israeli military would help evacuate babies from the hospital, at the request of the staff at Al Shifa.

Muhammad Abu Salmiya, the hospital's director, told Al Jazeera TV, that protecting patients was the priority.

"We contacted the Red Cross and informed them we ran out of water, oxygen, fuel, and everything," Abu Salmiya said.

"The premature babies, patients of the intensive care, and even wounded people couldn't survive with the lack of electricity... If the occupation forces want to evacuate the wounded people to any place in the world that is safer than the Gaza Strip, we are not against that."

Israel has said doctors, patients and thousands of evacuees who have taken refuge at hospitals in northern Gaza must leave so it can tackle Hamas gunmen who it says have placed command centres under and around them.

Hamas denies using hospitals this way. Medical staff say patients could die if they are moved and Palestinian officials say Israeli fire makes it dangerous for others to leave.

Israeli Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter called the evacuations "Gaza's Nakba" - a reference to mass dispossessions of Palestinians after Israel was founded in 1948.

"Operationally there's no way to conduct a war the way the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) wants to conduct it inside Gaza territories," Dichter said. "I don't know how it will end."

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