At least nine patients and six premature babies have now died at Al-Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, due to lack of electricity, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.
Al-Shifa and Al-Quds, the second largest hospital in Gaza, have both ceased operations after running out of electricity due to Israel’s blockade of Gaza, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.
Al-Shifa’s last generator ran out of fuel on Saturday Nov. 11, and the hospital is now under heavy attack from Israeli troops, who say Hamas has placed command centers near and under and near the hospital.
Hamas and hospital officials have denied it is using hospitals in this way.
The Palestinian Health Ministry told Al Jazeera that Israeli tanks and snipers have surrounded Al-Shifa and are shooting anyone who gets close to or tries to leave the hospital.
About 600 to 650 patients, 200 to 500 health workers and about 1,500 internally displaced people remain trapped in the hospital, according to the World Health Organization.
A doctor working with international humanitarian medical organization Doctors Without Borders said that an Israeli sniper inside Al-Shifa attacked four patients inside, shooting a quadriplegic patient in his neck and another one in the abdomen.
Three nurses have been killed at Al-Shifa Hospital since Friday, according to the UN.
About 30 other prematures babies are no longer on incubators and are at risk of dying.
Israel’s military said it had offered to evacuate the newborn babies and put 300 liters of fuel for medical use outside Al-Shifa Hospital but it was blocked by Hamas.
Hamas has denied refusing the fuel, saying that it is not associated with managing the hospital, which is run by the Palestinian health ministry.
The head of Al-Shifa hospital called the Israeli claims that the fuel was refused “lies and slander.”
Abu Salmiya said the hospital needs from 8,000 [2,113 gallons] to 12,000 litres [3,170 gallons] per day to operate.
“Israel wants to show the world that it is not killing babies. It wants to whitewash its image with 300 litres of fuel, which barely last 30 minutes,” Abu Salmiya said.
“No one can get out. No one can come in. People who tried to evacuate the hospital, they were shot at in the streets. Some got killed, some injured,” Dr. Marwan Abusada, the head of surgery at Al-Shifa, told Al Jazeera.
“We don’t have electricity, we don’t have water, we don’t even have food. We have a lot of dead people and we would like to bury their bodies. But it is sad to say it is too dangerous. We tried to make a large grave, but the Israelis attacked us.”
The Palestinian Ministry of Health have been unable to update the death toll since Friday as both the medical system and communication services have collapsed across the Gaza Strip.