Fri 17-May-2024

Horrifying testimonies of Israeli crimes at Al-Shifa Hospital

Friday 22-March-2024


The Euro-Mediterranean Monitor for Human Rights has received horrifying accounts of slow deaths facing dozens of Palestinian patients and wounded individuals at the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City, which has been under a comprehensive military operation by the Israeli occupation forces for the fourth consecutive day.

The testimonies revealed that the occupation forces have detained all doctors and nurses at an undisclosed location within the Al-Shifa Complex, preventing them from practicing their profession, while leaving patients and wounded individuals without any medical care or medication, resulting in the deaths of at least three of them in the past few hours.

The Euro-Med warned in a statement on Thursday that the Israeli army has turned the vicinity of the Al-Shifa Complex into an open slaughterhouse for the fourth consecutive day amidst field executions, imposing slow death sentences on patients and wounded individuals inside, whether by denying them medical care and medication or by starving them.

The Euro-Med said that the ongoing Israeli crimes inside the Al-Shifa Medical Complex have led to the deaths of at least 200 Palestinians as of the statement’s release, many of whom were subjected to deliberate killings and extrajudicial executions after being arrested, at an electronic checkpoint set up by the army and behind the complex’s morgue.

The Euro-Med received reports of Israeli forces evacuating dozens of patients from some buildings in the Al-Shifa Complex, while some difficult cases and elderly individuals whose fate is threatened remain un-evacuated, amidst fears that the entire complex may be bombed following the explosion of the surgeries building, which consisted of several floors and was completely demolished, along with the burning of surrounding buildings and homes.

A woman accompanying a patient from inside the Al-Shifa Complex told the Euro-Med team, “Israeli forces evacuated patients from all buildings and forced them to gather in the reception building, then demanded those who could walk to leave by force, while about 22 patients remain unable to move, and their fate is unknown.”

She explained that the situation inside the complex is lamentable and catastrophic, with the Israeli army closing the pharmacy belonging to the complex and depriving patients and wounded individuals of any medication, leading to the festering of wounds for some, noting that all doctors and nurses have been detained for investigation and prevented from practicing their profession, at a time when there is no electricity or food and water available, resulting in the deaths of three patients so far.

The Euro-Med documented a leaked video showing dozens of women and children trapped in a lower floor inside the Al-Shifa Medical Complex with an unknown fate, after the men were arrested, while threats are being circulated by the Israeli army through loudspeakers, demanding compliance with its instructions “or else the buildings will be bombed over the heads of those inside.”

A woman named Zeinab Al-Masri told the Euro-Med team, “I miraculously survived after the Israeli army detonated a residential building adjacent to the Al-Shifa Complex this morning, where several families resided, and the entire building and surrounding buildings were completely leveled to the ground.”

The Euro-Med documented testimonies from released detainees and eyewitnesses indicating that the Israeli army has been committing unlawful killings and executions against displaced Palestinian civilians inside the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City, as part of its ongoing military operations in the complex for the fourth consecutive day.

The Euro-Med highlighted the testimony of “M.Kh” (requested anonymity), who was detained for more than nine hours before being released, who confirmed that the soldiers were leading detainees behind the morgue area in the hospital, before hearing gunfire and the soldiers returning without the detainees.

He said, “The soldiers detained me and tied my hands in the hospital courtyard after stripping me for more than nine hours. During this time, I noticed approximately four times that the soldiers led groups of detainees, ranging from three to ten individuals, towards the hospital buildings, especially towards the refrigeration building where bodies were previously placed, and gunfire could be heard (gunfire shots), and then the soldiers returned without them, only to take a new group to that area.”

Another witness, who requested anonymity, among the displaced individuals who managed to leave the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in the past few hours, told the Euro-Med team that he witnessed Israeli forces taking 8 to 10 Palestinian civilians to the morgue area of the Al-Shifa Complex (the refrigerators for the dead), then heard intense gunfire before the Israeli forces returned without them.

The Euro-Med expressed deep concern about the ongoing situation in the Al-Shifa Medical Complex and the risks facing civilians, including patients, health workers, and displaced individuals inside, who are protected under international humanitarian law, emphasizing the necessity of protecting hospitals and medical facilities, and the international community’s responsibility to stop the genocide crime against all residents of the Gaza Strip, protect them, and take immediate and serious action to stop Israeli army crimes against hospitals in the Gaza Strip.

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