The strikes come as the Israeli military pushes deeper into dense urban neighborhoods in its fight against Hamas militants, the Associated Press reports.
Israel accused Hamas fighters to hide in hospitals and use the Shifa hospital complex as their main command center. This claim has been denied by the activist group and hospital staff, who say Israel is creating a pretext to hit him.
Early Friday, Israel struck the Shifa courtyard and obstetrics department, according to the head of the Hamas-run media office in Gaza, Salama Maarouf. Strikes were carried out near three hospitals in total, Maarouf told Al Jazeera, but gave no casualty figures.
Gaza health authorities later said one person was killed at Shifa Hospital and several were injured.
Israeli forces have not yet commented. The Guardian requests further verification.
The United Nations humanitarian office, OCHA, said “several hundred thousand people” are still in northern Gaza, beyond the reach of humanitarian supplies.
“We cannot move north at the moment, which is of course deeply frustrating because we know there are several hundred thousand people left in the north,” the OCHA spokesperson said. , Jens Laerke, according to Reuters.
“If there is hell on earth today, its name is northern Gaza,” he added.
It is a life of fear by day and darkness by night. And what do you tell your children in such a situation, it’s almost unimaginable: that the fire they see in the sky is there to kill them?
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian Authority was ready to shoulder its responsibilities in the Gaza Strip as part of a comprehensive political solution for the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, Reuters reports.
Last month, the Guardian addressed the question of what might happen to the Gaza Strip, writing:
“Even if the Palestinian Authority could be pressured or bribed to consider taking control, it is far from certain that it would be accepted or able to do so. A government installed by the Israeli army would not be considered legitimate. The PA is already widely resented in the West Bank for its weakness in the face of the Israeli authorities, for its inefficiency, its lack of representativeness and its corrupt character. »
More than 100 people who worked for UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, have been killed since October 7, Commissioner Philippe Lazzarini said on social media.
Read more about reports of Israeli strikes near Gaza hospitals:
Margaret Harris, a spokeswoman for the World Health Organization, said Friday that al-Shifa hospital had been “bombed,” Reuters reported.
Harris had been asked about the Gaza Health Ministry’s allegation of an Israeli strike on the courtyard of al-Shifa hospital. She said: “I don’t have details about al-Shifa but we know they are being bombed. »
When asked to elaborate, she said there had been “intense violence” at the site, citing colleagues on the ground.
Israeli forces have not yet commented.
Speaking in New Delhi, Blinken said the United States “appreciated” Israel’s steps to minimize civilian casualties, but that it was not enough, the Associated Press reports.
He said the United States had proposed additional ideas to the Israelis, including longer “humanitarian pauses” and an increase in the amount of aid going to Gaza.
Israel’s efforts to formalize pauses in its military operations and the creation of a second security corridor that they can use to escape damage are appreciated, he said.
These measures, he said, “will save lives and enable more aid to be delivered to Palestinians in need,” but at the same time, “much remains to be done to protect civilians and ensure that the humanitarian aid reaches them.
The US diplomat said that “far too many Palestinians have been killed, far too many have suffered in recent weeks” and that everything should be done to prevent them from being harmed and maximize the help they need.
As we wait to hear more about the four-hour pauses in fighting announced by the White House, a former Israeli deputy foreign minister suggested the pauses would not cover a large area.
Speaking to Sky News, Danny Ayalon was asked about the extent of the area covered by the breaks. He said: “The idea at the moment is to locate him. »
In his view, he added, the pauses were seen as a way to allow more aid trucks to enter Gaza via Rafah and to protect those fleeing northern Gaza. “What we will see is that the IDF will be faced only with Hamas terrorists, with no civilians in between,” he told the channel.
“There is no (broader) ceasefire because the pressure on Hamas must increase, otherwise it will have time to regroup and prolong the war and misery for its own population.
“Part of the problem (is that) Hamas…is preventing these civilians from getting away from the battlefield…so that’s pretty much the strategy of the idea.” »
Cogat, the Israeli civilian military body responsible for government policy in the occupied Palestinian territories, said on social media that the Israel Defense Forces had opened an evacuation corridor.
The corridor will remain open for seven hours, he added, accompanied by a video showing “tens of thousands of Gazans” heading towards the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
Russia said it had sent 25 tons of humanitarian aid to Egypt for delivery to the Gaza Strip, according to Agence France-Presse.
“A special plane of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry delivered 25 tons of humanitarian aid to the Arab Republic of Egypt,” Russian emergency services said on social media.
It released footage of staff loading cargo onto an Il-76 plane at an airport in the central Russian city of Kazan, saying the cargo contained food and hygiene products, as well as clothing and portable cookers.
“The humanitarian cargo has already been handed over to representatives of the Egyptian Red Crescent. Additional Russian aid will be sent to the residents of the Gaza Strip,” he said.
This is at least the fifth shipment of aid from Russia to Gaza, emergency services social media said.
In Gaza, Gaza’s 2.3 million residents lack food and face malnutrition, a World Food Program official said.
“Before October 7, 33% of the population suffered from food insecurity,” said Kyung-nan Park, emergencies director for the UN agency. told Reuters.
We can confidently say that 100% of people are currently food insecure.
She cited a lack of fuel and supplies as why only one of the 23 bakeries under contract with the agency is still operating.
“Right now, we are bringing in 40 to 50 trucks,” Kyung-nan said. “For WFP food aid alone, we would need 100 trucks per day to be able to provide meaningful humanitarian food to the population of Gaza. »
“There are stories of people going there, waiting in line for 10 days and leaving empty-handed… It’s pretty bad.”
The spokesperson for the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said there were only “a few hours” left before hospitals in Gaza and northern Gaza would stop providing services, according to the Associated Press.
In a statement, Ashraf al-Qidra of the Health Ministry said ambulances cannot reach Al-Nasr Children’s Hospital to evacuate the injured because it is being targeted.
He said Gaza authorities have done everything possible to keep health services operational, but A-Qidra called on Arab and Muslim countries “and the free peoples of the world” to take immediate steps to deliver medical supplies. and fuel in hospitals before “major disasters”. a catastrophe occurs.”
Dozens of protesters, carrying a sign saying “stop arming Israel” and waving Palestinian flags, blocked the entrances to a BAE Systems factory in southeast England on Friday, Reuters reports.
BAE said it does not directly export any equipment to Israel, but that the group is a tier one supplier of the U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets that are flown by Israel, Reuters notes.
“We are horrified by the situation in Israel and Gaza and the devastating impact it is having on civilians in the region and we hope that this situation can be resolved as quickly as possible,” a spokesperson for BAE. “We respect everyone’s right to peacefully protest. We operate under the strictest regulations and fully comply with all applicable defense export controls, which are subject to continuous assessment.
The protest comes after Belgian and Spanish unions refused to handle shipments of military equipment in recent weeks, citing the conflict.