Gaza City – Israeli warplanes have continued to attack hospitals in Gaza City.
After another communication and network blackout on Sunday, the Nasser Medical Complex, which has four hospitals, suffered indirect and direct hits from Israeli missiles.
According to the Palestinian health ministry, at least eight Palestinians were killed in the attacks and dozens were wounded.
The medical complex contained the Al-Nasser Children’s Hospital, the Rantisi Specialised Hospital, the Eye Hospital and the Psychiatric Hospital.
“The [Israeli] army called some of our staff that night and said they will create a fire belt around the hospital,” Suleiman Qaoud, a doctor at the Rantisi Hospital said.
At about 6:30pm (16:30 GMT), Israeli warplanes hit the area between the Psychiatric Hospital and the Rantisi hospital wounding 35 people, including some of the medical staff. Two hours later, the Rantisi hospital was hit as well as its southeast and northeast sides.
A children’s cancer ward is located on the northeast side of the hospital, Qaoud said. “More than 30 children were receiving chemotherapy treatment there,” he said.
The hospital was then attacked for a third time with strikes hitting the grounds where ambulances and other vehicles were parked and where displaced families had taken shelter.
“We have between 80 and 100 patients, and 700 displaced families – that is about 5,000 people,” Qaoud said.
“The solar panels and water tanks were also targeted, meaning that the Rantisi hospital does not have a single drop of running water,” he said.
The attacks on the hospital forced Rabaa al-Radee to take her sick granddaughter, Sidra, for treatment elsewhere. Sidra has cancer and broke her leg in an accident while fleeing from Israeli bombing that hit the school where they were sheltering.
“We got to Kamal Adwan Hospital but they told us to come to the Rantisi hospital instead,” Rabaa said. “Now. the Rantisi is telling us to go to the Shifa Hospital but there are no ambulances or cars on the road.”
At least 16 of the 35 hospitals in Gaza are out of service and 51 of 72 primary healthcare clinics in the besieged enclave have shut down completely.
The Psychiatric Hospital, the only one of its kind in the Gaza Strip, is also no longer able to treat its patients.
“We would take in 50 to 70 patients a day, from those coming to get their medicine to those who came to be treated for psychological trauma due to the sound of constant bombing,” said Jamil Suleiman, the general director of the Psychiatric Hospital.
“Body wounds can heal but psychological wounds are much deeper and need psychiatric treatment,” he said.
If Gaza’s hospitals continue to be attacked, there is no need for the United Nations Security Council or the World Health Organization, Suleiman added.
“If there is no guarantee for a patient’s rights, then there is no point having an international health body just witnessing a population getting slaughtered,” he said.
“Maybe if we were animals, then we’d have our rights.”