“We tried to save anyone who could be saved, but there were too many for the hospital team to handle,” describes the head of clinical orthopedic surgery at Al Ahli al Arabi Hospital in Gaza.
The head of clinical orthopedic surgery at Al Ahli al Arabi Hospital in GazaFadel Naim, he had just finished an operation when he heard the crash of a huge explosion and cries for help from his crowded ward.
“People came running into the surgery ward shouting ‘help us, help us’, there are dead and wounded inside the hospital,” he said. He saw the hospital full of mutilated corpses and wounded.
“We were trying to save whoever we could, but there were too many to save (to cope) the hospital team”he continued.
Yesterday’s explosion caused the death of hundreds of Palestinians and led to a shipwreck of US President Joe Biden’s diplomatic missionwho arrived in Israel today to try to bring calm to the region, but was ignored by Arab leaders, who canceled an emergency summit.
Palestinian officials attributed the explosion to an Israeli airstrike. Israel said the explosion was caused by a failed rocket launch by Islamic Jihad, which the Palestinian organization denied.
Dr. Ibrahim al-Naka was proud of the century-old Baptist hospital. In a conflict zone, this was open to believers of all faiths and functioned as both a church and a mosque for its patients.
Yesterday, people seeking refuge to escape the fiercest conflict between the Israeli army and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in decades found their deaths there.
“This place was a safe haven for women and childrenfor those who escaped the Israeli shelling inside this hospital, for those who saw this place as a safe haven”Naka noted.
“Without warning this hospital was targeted. We don’t know what the projectile was called, but we saw its effects when he targeted children and tore them to pieces».
Area in crisis
The death toll from the hospital blast is by far the highest of any single incident in Gaza during the current outbreak of violenceand sparked protests in the occupied West Bank and the wider region, including Jordan and Turkey.
British-Palestinian doctor Ghassan Abusitah said he heard the sound of a rocket shortly before a huge explosion and then the ceiling of the operating room collapsed on him and other doctors. In the enclosure he could see corpses and limbs everywhere. She treated a man who had lost his legs.
According to Abusitah, Gaza’s medical system has collapsed and doctors struggle to secure even basic resources. “We are exhausted. The number of patients is constantly increasing,” he said.
Before yesterday’s explosion at the hospital, the health authorities in Gaza had announced that at least 3,000 people had died in 11 days Israeli bombings.
The scenes of destruction from the hospital were horrific even compared to other scenes of the last 12 dayswhich confronted the world with images first of Israelis massacred in their homes and then of Palestinian families buried in the rubble by Israeli retaliatory strikes.
Head of civil defense in Gaza stated that the hospital death toll stands at 300, while sources from the Hamas Health Ministry state that it amounts to 500. Today, bodies were still being pulled from the wreckage.
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