Scores left dead following ‘catastrophic’ Israeli strikes in central Gaza

Hospital reportedly faces bombing threat amid strikes on Deir el-Balah and Nuseirat as Israel announces rescue of four captives

Mohammed al-Hajjar

Mourners pray over victims of Israeli bombing in Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital (MEE/Mohammed al-Hajjar)

Scores of people have been left dead and dozens more wounded in Israeli air strikes in central Gaza on Saturday, as Israel announced the rescue of four captives from Nuseirat.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said the toll from the strikes on Deir el-Balah and Nuseirat was 150 with dozens more wounded.

The Palestinian health ministry confirmed that a large number of dead and wounded Palestinian have arrived at Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital. It said that most of them were children and women.

The ministry added that dozens of injured people were “lying on the ground”, and medical teams were trying to save them with “whatever capabilities available”. 

Many of those who arrived were children and women.

Some of the heavy Israeli bombing took place in houses near to the hospital.

In addition, people sheltering in the hospital are now being phoned by Israeli forces telling them to leave the facility.

At least 32 people from the Abu Shalt family were killed in the attack and their bodies were recovered and arrived at the hospital.

“The occupation has annihilated the Nuseirat refugee camp. Innocent and unarmed civilian were bombed in their homes. I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s a catastrophe,” said local Nidal Abdo, speaking to MEE. 

“I came from the camp to here in the hospital on foot. I can’t describe how we fled. I saw dead children and body parts strewn all over as we fled. No one was able to assist them. I saw an elderly man killed on a animal-drawn cart.

“Nuseirat was being annihilated. It was hell. “

‘I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s a catastrophe’

– Nidal Abdo, local

As the bombing was ongoing, the Israeli military said in a statement that it had announced the rescue of four captives from Gaza during an operation in Nuseirat.

Those rescued were named as Noa Argamani, Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov, and Shlomi Ziv.

The captives, who were reportedly in good health, were taken to Tel Hashomer hospital for further evaluation.

According to the Times of Israel, all four were captured by Hamas on 7 October from the Supernova music festival.

The 7 October attack left 1,171 people dead and saw hundreds of Israelis taken to Gaza.

Medical resources running low

In a statement, the Gaza media office said they held both Israel and the US responsible for the killings and warned that they were running of medical resources.

“Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital is the only hospital in the Central Governorate and is currently working on only one electric generator after the breakdown of one of the two generators that the hospital has been operating for eight months,” said the statement.

“If one of these two generators stops, it portends a real disaster if the only generator stops, and thus the hospital may be out of service. This hospital provides health service to a million people and displaced persons, and it cannot accommodate this large number of martyrs and injuries.”

A media office spokesperson told Al Arabi TV that the Israeli army had called Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital’s administration and threatened to bomb the hospital if it was not evacuated.

The spokesperson also confirmed that Israeli special forces had infiltrated the market in Nuseirat camp.

According to the Gaza health ministry, 36,731 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, have been killed in Israel’s bombardment since 7 October.

Deir al-Balah, occupied Palestine

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