PRESS RELEASE – MINISTRY OF HEALTH GAZA – Another massacre is underway in Khan Younis, where relentless Israeli shelling and sniper fire are wreaking death and destruction on all that moves in the zone east of Khan Younis city.
The villages of Khuza’a, Al Fukhari, Abasan Alkabir, Abasan Al Sa’ir, Jarara, and Bani Suhela received no warning of the attacks, and no warnings to evacuate before the bombardment began at around 11pm last night.
The intensity of Israeli shelling around the Algerian Hospital in Abasan Alkabir shattered its windows, and led to its evacuation, leaving only the emergency department operational.
Despite residents’ frantic calls to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for help in finding a safe route and safe vehicles to escape, the ICRC was unable to get a response from Israeli authorities until dawn today, when five bodies and 17 injured were retrieved and taken to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis.
An unknown number of dead and injured remain behind, as ambulances are prevented access.
Israeli military has declared the Khuza’a area a closed military zone, preventing even medics from entering it, but reports from Khuza’a stated 12 dead by morning.
The casualties in other villages are unable to be established at this time. Random shelling continues unabated, and Israeli snipers inside houses are attacking anything that moves.
Homes are being destroyed over the heads of entire families. Thousands have been displaced, many fleeing to the Nasser and European Gaza Hospitals.
Even hospitals are not safe, however. Monday’s attack on Al Aqsa hospital has left staff and patients alike fearing for their lives even within medical facilities.
The reality is that there is no safe sanctuary, for residents, patients or health personnel alike.
As they did in Shujaiyah, the Israeli military is indiscriminately attacking civilians.
As they did in Shujaiyah, the Israelis military is refusing to provide humanitarian access to the dead and injured, in clear breach of humanitarian law.
As they did in Shujaiyah, the Israeli military is committing war crimes, with apparent impunity.
The Ministry of Health Gaza demands that the international community require the Israeli military to
1. Immediately cease all attacks on civilian targets in Gaza;
2. Immediately cease all attacks on medical facilities and personnel in Gaza;
3. Immediately provides access to the dead and injured, as required by international humanitarian law.