Israeli sniper kills “everyone who moves” in Gaza hospital

A doctor, wearing gloves, cradles the face of a small wounded child on the floor of a hospital

The healthcare system in Gaza is coming to a cataclysmic collapse. 

Omar Ashtawy APA images

Israeli forces are continuing to bomb, besiege and destroy hospitals in Gaza, waging what a UN health official called an “unrelenting war” on the health system across the coastal enclave.

Doctors are warning that without an immediate end to Israel’s bombing, and proper shelter, sanitation, medicine, food and water, the healthcare system is coming to a cataclysmic collapse.

The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza also reported, on Wednesday, that children’s vaccines have completely run out, which will cause “catastrophic health repercussions on children’s health and the spread of diseases, especially among the displaced in overcrowded shelter centers.”

Over the past week, Israeli soldiers have repeatedly attacked two hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip while bombarding the areas around two other hospitals in Khan Younis, in the south.

Only 11 out of 36 hospitals across Gaza – including only one in the northern area – are “partially functional,” according to the United Nations, and are forced to limit their services. Occupancy rates for inpatient departments are at more than 200 percent capacity, while intensive care units are reporting a staggering 250 percent.

“We affirm that the Israeli crime against hospitals in northern Gaza aims to end the health presence and force the residents of the region into forced displacement,” said Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesperson for the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza, on Wednesday.

He added that the health situation in hospitals in southern Gaza, where Israeli forces have been ordering Palestinians to flee, “is unbearable, and we have lost the absorptive and treatment capacity.”

On Tuesday, Israeli forces stormed the Kamal Adwan hospital in northern Gaza and detained its director and medical staff.

Israeli forces have routinely arrested and detained physicians and medical personnel in Gaza, and have killed at least 300 health workers since 7 October.

The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza reported on Wednesday that Israeli forces had interrogated and tortured the detained medical staff of Kamal Adwan hospital.

“After a number of detainees were released and forced to return to the hospital, they were shot, and five medical personnel and the displaced wounded were wounded,” the ministry stated.

Five doctors and female hospital staff were released from Israeli custody on Wednesday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported.

But the director of the hospital and about 70 other medical staff “remain detained in an unknown location outside of the hospital,” the UN stated.

“The occupation forces are still besieging the hospital, firing fire and shells inside it, preventing movement inside it, and depriving those inside of water, food and electricity,” the health ministry said.

Doctors say that they fear for 12 children in the intensive care unit at the hospital, “as a result of leaving them without milk and without life support equipment.”

Al-Awda hospital under siege

Meanwhile, Israeli forces are “tightening the siege and targeting” of al-Awda hospital in the northern Gaza Strip, according to the health ministry. “We fear that [Israeli forces] will storm it after Kamal Adwan hospital.”

A hospital worker at al-Awda hospital in the north reported on 8 December that hospital staff had already been “under siege for three days, with an Israeli sniper who kills everyone who moves.”

That morning, the source said, a sniper “killed a fellow nurse.”

A pregnant woman and her sister-in-law were shot by a sniper as they arrived at the hospital for maternity services, the hospital worker said. The sister-in-law was killed.

The worker told The Electronic Intifada on Wednesday that the siege is ongoing.

Israeli forces bombed the water tanks on the roof, making the only available water in the hospital dirty and unsafe to use, the source explained.

Other necessary supplies, like fuel, are almost gone. “We only have fuel only for a few days, [to use in] a small generator related to medical supplies,” the worker said.

“It’s not enough, and our [fuel] storage is in another building – we can’t go there because of the sniper.”

The hospital worker told The Electronic Intifada that there are 250 staff, patients and their families inside the besieged hospital, including 45 children.

Surgeons are forced to amputate limbs because of infections and a lack of antibiotics, the source said.

The worker showed this reporter a video of a young girl who had her leg amputated. “We could have saved her in a normal situation, but under siege, this happened,” they said.

“Her body is okay after amputation. But I don’t know about her psychology.”


Last month, Israeli forces raided al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, the largest medical facility in the Gaza Strip, under the false pretext that Palestinian resistance forces operated a command and control center underneath the hospital.

Staff, patients and displaced persons seeking refuge in the hospital were ordered to leave at gunpoint.

Dozens of premature infants in al-Shifa’s neonatal intensive care unit were evacuated and eventually transferred to Egypt for care.

At least two mothers who had been separated from their babies were recently reunited with their infants.




I mailed a Xmas card to President Biden,. Messages on the inside and on envelope. Telling him he is responsible for the deaths of babies and children, like the one born 2023 years ago in Bethlehem, Palestine.


This is a severe breach to Geneve convention and a war crime. BiBi and his death cult have so much to answer to, looking forward to that court day.

Nora Barrows-Friedman

Nora Barrows-Friedman's picture

Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer and associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, and is the author of In Our Power: US Students Organize for Justice in Palestine (Just World Books, 2014).