Israel-Gaza: Indonesian Hospital ‘out of service’, inundated with wounded

Director of Indonesian Hospital in Beit Lahiya says 45 patients in need of ‘urgent surgical intervention’.

Palestinians wounded in Israeli strikes lie on the ground as they are assisted at the Indonesian Hospital after al-Shifa Hospital had gone out of service amid Israeli ground offensive, in the northern Gaza Strip on November 16, 2023 [Fadi Alwhidi/Reuters]

The Indonesian hospital in northern Gaza has gone ‘completely out of service’ due to a lack of supplies and an overwhelming number of patients amid Israel’s assault on the besieged territory, hospital director Atef al-Kahlout has said.

Footage from the hospital in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip shows wounded Palestinians lining the hallways of the facility and lying prone amid pools of blood.

“We cannot offer any more services … we can’t offer patients any beds,” al-Kahlout told Al Jazeera on Thursday.

While the hospital has a capacity of 140 patients, al-Kahlout said some 500 patients are currently inside the hospital.

He said 45 patients are in need of “urgent surgical intervention”, and called on ambulances “not to bring any more wounded people” to the facility due to the lack of capacity.

He says the hospital’s departments are “unable to carry out their work”. Health workers at the hospital cited a critical shortage of supplies.

“We don’t have beds,” a health worker told Al Jazeera on a tour of the building.

“This person needs an intensive care unit,” he added pointing to a young man lying on the ground while being tended to by a nurse.

“And [here],” he says pointing to another patient with an amputated leg, “we have no medicine.”

“We receive wounded people from Wadi Gaza to Beit Hanoon,” he says, “some have been here for 10 days.”

Palestinians wounded in Israeli strikes lie on the floor at the Indonesian Hospital after the al-Shifa Hospital had shut down amid Israel’s ground offensive, in the northern Gaza Strip on November 16, 2023 [FadiAlwhidi/Reuters]

Nearly 30,000 Palestinians have been wounded since Israel began its assault on Gaza on October 7 after Hamas carried out a surprise attack on southern Israel, killing around 1,200 people, according to Israeli authorities.

More than 11,400 people have been killed, including more than 4,600 children, in the Israeli assault on Gaza, according to Palestinian health authorities. Israel has also severely restricted supplies of water, food, electricity and fuel, with aid agencies warning of a humanitarian catastrophe in the enclave.

“Medical teams [at the Indonesian hospital] were forced to amputate some patients’ [body parts] due to the rotting of the organs,” Al Jazeera’s Tareq Abu Azzoum reported from Khan Younis, adding that the hospital is unable to transfer the injured elsewhere.

“All hospitals in Gaza City and the north have stopped operating,” director al-Kahlout said.

The Indonesian Hospital, located near the Jabalia refugee camp – the largest in Gaza – has also been sheltering hundreds of displaced people who sought shelter there.

The vicinity of the hospital had been struck multiple times by Israeli forces, with at least two civilians killed in those strikes between October 7 and 28, according to Human Rights Watch.

Israel’s military has alleged the Indonesian Hospital is used “to hide an underground command and control centre” for Hamas. Palestinian officials and the Indonesian group that funds the hospital have rejected the claims.

Meanwhile, concerns are growing for the thousands of civilians trapped at al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical complex, amid an ongoing Israeli raid. Israel says the hospital harbours a Hamas command centre, a claim the group has denied.

White House spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday the United States was “confident in our own intelligence assessment” that Hamas has been using the hospital “as a command and control node, and most likely as well as a storage facility”.

Late on Thursday, the Israeli army published videos it said showed a Hamas tunnel shaft and a vehicle “containing a large number of weapons” uncovered at Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital complex.

Source: Al Jazeera