Indonesian hospital in Gaza overwhelmed by dead, wounded from Israeli attacks

Indonesian hospital in Gaza overwhelmed by dead, wounded from Israeli attacks
Indonesian hospital in Gaza overwhelmed by dead, wounded from Israeli attacks

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - JAKARTA: An Indonesian-run hospital in Gaza has been overwhelmed by the dead and wounded from daily Israeli airstrikes, its staff said on Tuesday, as they struggle to provide shelter and emergency medical care to survivors.
Operated by the Indonesian NGO Medical Emergency Rescue Committee, or MER-C, the hospital in Beit Lahiya was one of the first targets hit during the Israeli assault on Gaza which, according to local authorities, has killed nearly 3,000 people and wounded another 12,000, mostly women and children.
“The residents of Gaza are staying outside the hospital building. The unimaginable number of casualties is overwhelming health workers,” Sarbini Abdul Murad, chairman of MER-C’s executive committee, told Arab News.
Indonesian staff from MER-C remained on the site, helping Palestinian doctors as attacks on residential buildings, clinics and convoys of evacuees continue across the densely populated enclave, which under Israel’s siege has for over a week been cut off food, fuel, water, and medical supplies.
“We ask the international community to pressure Israel to allow humanitarian access so that aid can enter Gaza, otherwise there’ll be a humanitarian catastrophe,” Murad said.
Trucks loaded with foreign aid are reaching Rafah, the crossing between Gaza and Egypt, but mediations to let them in have not been successful since Israeli airstrikes forced the border post to shut down last week.
“Health services in the Gaza Strip are in a medical crisis because the number of casualties is surging, and medical personnel are exhausted. They are on duty 24 hours a day to attend to patients who continue to arrive. Until now there has been no aid,” Fikri Rofiul Haq, a 23-year-old MER-C volunteer, told Arab News over the phone from Gaza.
“The Israeli side is also targeting ambulances that are evacuating victims.”
There was no more space for bodies at MER-C’s mortuary. At least 300 people have been pronounced dead at the hospital since the attacks started on Oct. 7. Another 1,500 have been treated for injuries.
“There are so many dead bodies piling up on the sidewalk around the hospital. Until now I’m seeing families of the victims trying to find their loved ones,” Haq said.
“We’re getting similar news from Al-Shifa Hospital, the biggest hospital in the Gaza Strip. They are facing the same conditions and were going to dig a mass grave for those killed by the Israeli attacks.”
While multiple attacks on Gaza have occurred in the past years, the latest assault is the deadliest the impoverished enclave has ever seen.
Facing Israeli blockade since 2007, the 362 sq. km strip of land — home to 2.3 million people — was devastated by airstrikes in 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2021.
Until now, the worst was the escalation in July-August 2014, which killed more than 2,250 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 74 Israelis, mostly soldiers.
Israel that year flattened parts of the enclave, saying it aimed at stopping rocket strikes fired from Gaza toward its territory.

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