World News

Israeli Tanks Surround al-Awda Hospital in Gaza Siege

Monday, May 20: Key Updates on Gaza and Israel

Ongoing Conflict in Gaza

Intense Fighting in Northern Gaza

– Israeli jets and helicopters are heavily bombing the Jabalia refugee camp and Gaza City in northern Gaza.
– Casualty numbers are not yet available.
– Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported that al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza, treating 34 wounded patients, is surrounded by Israeli tanks and has no drinking water.

Violence in Southern Gaza

– In Rafah city, Israeli forces bombed a home, killing three Palestinians and injuring eight others in the Tal as-Sultan neighborhood.
– Gaza’s Media Office stated that Israel is blocking 3,000 aid trucks and preventing 690 sick and wounded people from seeking medical treatment abroad as border crossings at Rafah and Karem Abu Salem remain closed.

Diplomatic Discussions and Military Exchanges

– U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the offensive in Rafah and efforts to return captives held in Gaza.
– Israel and Hezbollah continued to exchange fire. Hezbollah claimed to attack an Israeli army headquarters in Metulla, Israel.

President Biden’s Address

– President Joe Biden, addressing Morehouse College graduates, expressed his heartbreak over the Gaza conflict and acknowledged students’ protests.
– He emphasized his support for peaceful protests and mentioned efforts to negotiate a pause in the conflict to secure the release of captives.
– Biden reflected on the complexity of the situation and shared his family’s frustration and sadness over the conflict.

Journalist’s Harrowing Experience

– Palestinian journalist Doaa Shaheen recounted being buried under rubble during an Israeli attack on the Nuseirat refugee camp, which killed at least 31 people.
– Shaheen described the chaos and fear as she and her relatives, including her deaf grandmother, were trapped beneath the debris.

Humanitarian Crisis and International Appeals

Calls for International Intervention

– The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor called for international intervention to reopen the Rafah crossing.
– The closure has left over 11,000 wounded people and 10,000 cancer patients unable to receive necessary medical care outside Gaza.

Siege of al-Awda Hospital

– Al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza is under siege by Israeli forces, preventing movement in or out and cutting off water supplies.
– MSF reported that the hospital is treating patients wounded from attacks on the Jabalia refugee camp.

UN Aid Monitoring Disrupted

– The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has been unable to monitor aid entry into Gaza since May 6 due to the ongoing Israeli ground offensive.
– The number of aid trucks entering Gaza has drastically decreased, with fewer than five trucks per day compared to the previous average of 87 trucks per day.

Functional Hospitals in Gaza

– According to the UN’s humanitarian agency (OCHA), only 15 hospitals in Gaza are partially functional, with 21 out of service.
– The situation is dire, with medical facilities struggling due to ongoing offensives and closed border crossings.
– At al-Awda Hospital, surrounded by Israeli tanks, staff reported running out of drinking water.
– In Khan Younis, American doctors at the European Hospital are rationing water, with one doctor needing an IV drip for dehydration.

Conclusion

The situation in Gaza remains critical, with ongoing violence, humanitarian crises, and international diplomatic efforts. The conflict’s toll on civilians and medical infrastructure highlights the urgent need for a resolution and increased humanitarian support.

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