Blinken denounces number of Palestinians killed
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - NEWS coming out of Gaza indicated that at least 27 people were killed yesterday (Nov. 10) following Israeli airstrikes that hit three hospitals and a school, while a ground battle was underway at another hospital.
The disclosure, according to Reuters, was made by Palestinian officals.
The global news agency said that the US Government had fresh disquiet at the war’s mounting death toll, noting that the country’s Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, had denounced the number of Palestinians killed, put by authorities at more than 11,000.
Blinken welcomed the four-hour humanitarian Israeli pauses that the White House announced on Thursday (Nov. 9), but told reporters more action was needed to protect Gaza’s civilians.
“Far too many Palestinians have been killed; far too many have suffered these past weeks,” Reuters quoted him as saying while on a visit to India.
Reuters noted that Israel has faced growing calls for restraint in its month-long war with Hamas but said the militants, who attacked Israel on Oct. 7 and took hostages, would exploit a truce to regroup.
Israel accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields and hides weapons in tunnels under hospitals; accusations that Hamas denied.
The media outlet reported that Gaza officials said that in the early hours yeaterday, missiles had landed in the courtyard of the enclave’s biggest hospital, Al-Shifa, damaged the Indonesian Hospital and set fire to the Nasser Rantissi paediatric cancer hospital.
The hospitals are in northern Gaza, where Israel says the Hamas militants who attacked it last month are concentrated, and are full of displaced people as well as patients and doctors.
Medical staff had earlier raised the alarm that Israeli tanks, which had been advancing through northern Gaza for almost two weeks, have taken up positions around the Nasser Rantissi, Children’s and Eye hospitals as well as the Al-Quds hospital.
Mohammad Abu Selmeyah, the Director of Shifa Hospital which was struck by a missiles early yesterday, told Reuters: “Israel is now launching a war on Gaza City hospitals,”
Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra told the media outlet that Israel had bombed Shifa Hospital buildings five times. “One Palestinian was killed and several were wounded in the early morning attack,” he said by phone.
Videos verified by Reuters showed scenes of panic and people covered in blood.
The Director of Shifa Hospital said that at least 25 people were killed in Israeli strikes on Al-Buraq school in Gaza City, where people whose homes had been destroyed were sheltering.
According to Reuters, the Palestinian Red Cross said Israeli forces were shooting at Al-Quds Hospital, and there were violent clashes, with one person killed and 28 wounded, most of them children.
Israeli army spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht told an evening briefing that the army “does not fire on hospitals. If we see Hamas terrorists firing from hospitals we’ll do what we need to do. We’re aware of the sensitivity (of hospitals), but again, if we see Hamas terrorists, we’ll kill them.”
Israeli Government spokesperson Eylon Levy said the Hamas headquarters was in Shifa Hospital’s basement, which meant the hospital could lose its protected status and become a legitimate target.
Gaza Health Ministry spokesman also told Reuters tha clearing out the hospitals was impossible.
“We are talking about 45 babies in incubators, 52 children in intensive care units, hundreds of wounded and patients, and tens of thousands of displaced people,” he said.
Reportedly, the White House said on Thursday (Nov. 9) that Israel had agreed to pause military operations in parts of north Gaza for four hours a day, and the army said that on the following day Palestinians were allowed to leave over seven hours along a road south, but there was no sign of a let-up in the fighting that has devastated the seaside enclave.
Palestinians said an Israeli missile struck the road used by people to flee south and Hamas-run media said three people were killed.
And in Tel Aviv, it was reported that two women in Tel Aviv suffered shrapnel wounds from a salvo by Hamas.
Reuters also reported that the armed wing of Hamas said yesterday it was still firing rockets and shells into Israel and fighting off troops in Gaza.