Israeli siege leaves 150 Palestinians dead in Gaza hospital: official

GAZA, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) — Up to 150 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli siege of the Nasser Medical Complex Hospital in Khan Younis, Gaza's second-largest city, a Palestinian medical official said on Saturday.

The Palestinians were forced to bury the dead in the courtyard of the hospital, said Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Gaza.

“We still have 30 unidentified bodies in the mortuary of the Nasser Medical Complex,” he explained, adding that “Nasser Hospital is facing a serious and dangerous shortage of blood supplies and many anesthesia drugs are sold out.”

Al-Qedra said the hospital's generators would be shut down in four days due to a lack of fuel, adding that the water tanks were damaged and malfunctioning due to shrapnel and Israeli drone fire, leading to water leaks in several buildings.

He stressed that Israel “deliberately disabled the capacities of the Nasser Medical Complex and Khan Younis Hope Hospital during its siege, turning them into targets and preventing the movement of ambulances.”

The Israeli army had previously denied the attack. In a statement sent to Xinhua on Friday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it was in telephone contact with medical staff at Al-Amal and Nasser hospitals in Khan Younis to ensure their operations.

“The IDF has indicated that there is no obligation to evacuate hospitals,” the military said, adding that troops were operating against Hamas militants in Khan Younis, the largest city in the southern Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian death toll from ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip has risen to 26,257 since October 7, 2023, the Hamas-run Health Ministry reported on Saturday.

The Israeli army killed 174 Palestinians and injured 310 others in the last 24 hours, the ministry said in a press release.

He added that the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has injured at least 64,797 Palestinians, noting that many victims lie under the rubble as ambulances and civil defense teams cannot reach them.