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The Israeli occupation of the Al-Shifa Hospital is rapidly turning a facility which should be a place where life is preserved and protected into a death trap instead. Palestinian medics said yesterday that they are increasingly afraid for the lives of hundreds of patients and medical staff still in Al-Shifa. The director of Al-Shifa Complex, Dr. Muhammad Abu Salamiya, said the hospital had been “under occupation authority for 48 hours and every minute that passes” more patients will die, reported Reuters. “We are waiting for slow death,” he told Al Jazeera TV.

Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said there was no water, food or baby milk in Al-Shifa, which was packed with 650 patients and about 7,000 people displaced by weeks of Israeli air strikes and artillery bombardments. He demanded that the Israeli troops leave.

Middle East Eye cited sources in the hospital reporting yesterday that the Israelis had begun destroying buildings of the hospital complex with bulldozers. The Ministry of Health reported that the Israeli army has destroyed several medical departments during its ongoing raid on the hospital in Gaza.

Dr. Salamiya, speaking to Al Jazeera Arabic, yesterday afternoon gave the following updates: Starving children are “crying for milk” after food and water run out; the hospital is plunged into darkness and electricity is cut off; Israeli soldiers destroy expensive medical equipment, worth up to $2 million; soldiers separated men and women, interrogating doctors and displaced men; over 7,000 civilians inside are waiting for their death; and 3 premature babies have died so far, after power outages stopped their incubators.

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