The al-Quds Hospital currently shelters hundreds of patients and more than 12,000 displaced civilians in Gaza.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) on Sunday said it has received “serious threats” from Israeli forces to “immediately evacuate” the al-Quds Hospital in Gaza as it is “going to be bombed”.
The hospital, located in the Tal al-Hawa area of Gaza City, said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter, that “since this morning, there have been bombs dropping 50 metres from the hospital”.
The threat comes as Israel has bombed several hospitals in the besieged Gaza Strip enclave, which has been under intense attacks for the past three weeks that have killed more than 8,000 people, mostly women and children.
Palestinians have also blamed Israel for the explosion at al-Ahli Arab Hospital on October 17 that killed nearly 500 people, many of them displaced Palestinians. Israel has denied its role in the explosion.
The PRCS has reported that the hospital is currently providing care to hundreds of injured patients, including those in intensive care units and newborns in incubators. Around 12,000 unarmed displaced civilians, with a majority being children and women, have also sought refuge in the hospital building.
WHO chief raises concerns
The hospital also accommodates PRCS personnel, operating rooms, and ambulance crews who are tirelessly serving hundreds of thousands of citizens in the northern Gaza Strip.
The United Nations health agency chief has also expressed concerns about the Israeli threats.
“We reiterate – it’s impossible to evacuate hospitals full of patients without endangering their lives,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director of the World Health Organization (WHO), said on X.
The @PalestineRCS report of evacuation threats to Al-Quds hospital in Gaza is deeply concerning.
We reiterate – it’s impossible to evacuate hospitals full of patients without endangering their lives.
Under International Humanitarian Law, healthcare must always be protected.
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) October 29, 2023
While warnings from Israel to bomb this hospital have intensified over the past week, Al Jazeera has obtained exclusive aerial photographs of the al-Quds Hospital, taken just hours after it received the most recent threat of Israeli air strikes.
The aerial scenes depict a significant gathering of displaced individuals seeking refuge in the hospital’s courtyards. Hundreds of citizens have flocked to the hospital as it continues to admit victims of the ongoing Israeli bombardment in Gaza.
The pictures also reveal the presence of ambulances and the preparedness of medical teams stationed at the hospital entrance.
Ground operations expanded
Meanwhile, as Israel’s ground forces have expanded their operations in Gaza, bombings around hospitals have intensified.
On Friday after Gaza experienced a near-total telecommunications blackout, Al Jazeera’s Hani Mahmoud, reporting from Khan Younis in southern Gaza, said the Israeli military spokesperson had distributed a map asserting that the al-Shifa Hospital was the headquarters of Hamas’s leadership.
“Hamas denied this … and at about 7pm local time, a major attack by sea and land took place, concentrated on the northern part of the Gaza Strip, around the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital,” Mahmoud said on Saturday.
Al Jazeera has also obtained exclusive footage of the latest attacks to have hit next to al-Shifa Hospital and the Indonesian Hospital.
Dr Marwan al-Hams, director of Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital located in the Rafah region, told Al Jazeera that children and women have become targets for Israel through these attacks.
He also called on the International Criminal Court and human rights institutions to intervene immediately to stop the massacres against innocent civilians.