Gaza hospital overwhelmed by dead and wounded

image Palestinians carry the bodies of three toddlers Ahmed, Mohamed, and Issa Samouni, who according to Palestinian medical sources were killed in an Israeli strike, during their funeral in Gaza City, Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.

January 6 2009

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Wailing in grief, Salah Samouni banged his head against a wall inside the hospital morgue where the bodies of his three young nephews lay on the floor Monday.

After 10 days of a relentless Israeli assault, Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest, is overwhelmed. Bodies were crowded two to a morgue drawer, and some — like 3-year-old Issa, 4-year-old Mohammed and 5-year-old Ahmad — were on the floor.

Shifa’s shabby halls echoed Monday with the sounds of people screaming and the wail of ambulance sirens. Many of the wounded were being treated in hallways by harried doctors and nurses running on little sleep. The hospital was powered by emergency generators after shelling damaged power lines.

Since Israel began a ground offensive Saturday, most of the dead and wounded arriving at Shifa are civilians, as Israel’s offensive shifts from airstrikes to artillery shelling and fighting close to densely populated areas.

Israel says it is targeting only the Hamas militants who control Gaza in an attempt to halt seven years of rocket fire at Israeli communities. But the 550 Palestinians who have been killed include at least 200 civilians, according to Dr. Moaiya Hassanein of the Gaza Health Ministry.

On Monday, 20 children between the ages of 2 and 15 were killed, he said. Since the military offensive began Dec. 27, three Israeli civilians and two soldiers have been killed.

Nurse Ahmad Abdul Salam, 34, red-eyed and smelling of sweat, his clothes stained with blood, said he couldn’t sleep. “When my shift ends, I help my colleagues. These are our brothers and friends who are being harmed,” he said.

The hospital’s most gruesome scene was in its morgue, where blood pooled on the floor and refrigerators meant to hold 35 bodies were crammed with 70, laid side-by-side in drawers.

Lying on a gray mat on the floor, the three Samouni brothers appeared baby-faced and almost as though they were asleep, except for a large bandage wrapped around Issa’s head.

The children’s father was also killed in what relatives said was an Israeli strike on a house in eastern Gaza City where the family had fled to escape fighting nearby.

Relatives wept Monday and one man screamed for help for other family members he said were buried under the rubble of the house. “For God’s sake, rescue them!” he pleaded.

No militants were seen at Shifa. Israel says its forces have killed dozens of Palestinian gunmen, but Hamas has not listed its casualties and it is unclear where militants are being treated or where their bodies were taken.

Shifa has been powered by generators since power completely cut out in Gaza City three days ago. Israel has not replenished Gaza’s power station with industrial fuel since fighting began, and airstrikes have badly damaged power lines.

U.N. health official Mahmoud Daher said the generators were meant only as an emergency backup and he feared they would break down with the constant use, imperiling some 70 people hooked up to lifesaving equipment.

Throughout the day, exhausted medics rushed in with the wounded and the bodies of the dead.

Mohammed Salman, 26, a volunteer medic washing blood from the inside of an ambulance, said he had treated people with horrific injuries, including headless children and a woman whose stomach had been torn open.

The woman screamed, “Leave me and save my children,” he said, and burst into tears.

Israeli aircraft have hit three ambulances in Gaza since the campaign began, killing seven medics, according to Gaza health officials.

A medical building owned by a relief organization not connected to Hamas was also bombed, said Daher. He said the building was destroyed, along with an ambulance, three mobile clinics and donated medicines.

The Israeli army says it has no records of any of those strikes.

Raed Arini, a Shifa hospital official, said he has stopped filling out the space on death certificates that says “reason for death.”

“The reason for death is the Israeli army,” he said, as medics rushed in with more wounded people.


Israeli Forces Surround Gaza City

Gaza City January 5 2009

Families in fear of being killed by the Israelis
are leaving their homes gathering in schools and other locations
together with their children and relatives in the surrounded Gaza City
Photo ” name withheld” – PalestineFreeVoice Images

By Hiyam Noir

January 6 2009 1.26 am
Gaza – On Saturday before noon, Israeli tanks and troops launched a ground invasion in the northern Gaza strip, as Israeli air crafts escalated its assault on Gaza Strip.The Israelis said the assault might take “many long days”, as thousands of more Israeli reservists were drafted. As Israeli tanks and infantry crossed into northern Gaza, reports of fierce fighting between Hamas forces and Israeli troops began, Hamas warned the Israelis that if they would trespass Palestinian territories, they would face a “black destiny”.

Hours earlier, heavy assault from Israeli artillery along the border, intended to clear mines or roadside bombs for the invasion. The ground offensive followed a day of heavy air,  sea and artillery bombardment of Gaza that left at least 50 Gaza residents, including children, dead and dozens injured, when an Israeli missile strike a mosque in Beit Lahiya, as worshippers were praying inside. The invading Israeli forces also attacked the American school in northern Gaza,  a security guard was killed there.

Since the Israeli ground invasion on Saturday early morning,  members of the Palestinian resistance has been detained during clashes with the invading Israeli military. The Israelis have abducted dozens of Palestinian fighters and other residents across the border for interrogation. As many as 100 Palestinians have been abducted during recent Israeli invasion.

The Israelis considers Gaza residents “illegal” combatants:)). Same tactics were used in the West Bank ,during a manhunt in the last years of the second Intifada, when the Israeli occupant listed the Palestinian resistance on what was called a ” wanted list”..and abducted members of Al Qassam Brigades, Al Aqsa Brigades and Islamic Jihad and other groups, attempting to retrieve information that sometimes lead to the capture of other members of the resistance.

The death toll, as the Israeli massive assault on Gaza entered its second week,more than 550 Palestinians are counted dead,7 Israelis are killed by Hamas rocket fire. Khaled Meshaal the exiled leader of Hamas has rejected a ceasefire in Gaza ,until the Israelis have agreed to end its three-year blockade of Gaza, which has caused economic infrastructural collapse and a widespread suffering.Meshaal said in a televised address that Hamas organization had been contacted by European and Arab countries about a ceasefire and Egypt,the same people who together with Mahmoud Abbas ( Fatah) locked the borders to Gaza, says it has now resumed its talks with Hamas.
Just after midnight, on Tuesday morning sources tell that the Israelis have declared Gaza City as ” partially besieged”. Israeli ground troops and snipers, backed by artillery of tanks, bulldozers and Apache helicopters have encircled Gaza City and cut the Gaza Strip in two. The inhabitants have with their families and relatives left their homes, to stay in schools and in other locations.

The air in Gaza hospitals is thick of grievance, the morgues are crowded with corpses of hundreds of slain’ Palestinians.Tormented, brutalized bodies lay lined up on the floor, in hospital corridors this Monday evening. Some poor souls share the place in the morgue drawers, the little body of a 4 year old girl and a 12 year old boy are wrapped in blood stained sheets, their cold tiny bodies are covered in blankets.

The Al Awda Hospital and Kamal Edwan hospital in the northern parts of Gaza Strip have no space left for all the dead. The hospitals can not take the situation any more, in one week a disaster is imminent. Just before noon on Monday, a patient waiting in Al Awda hospital emergency room, was injured from falling large chokes of glass from the windows, which exploded after an Israeli air strike nearby, also in front of the Al Awda hospital a police car was shelled.

In Al Shefa hospital in Gaza City, burnt corpses,  collected pieces of body parts, lies there in a morgue overwhelmed by cruel dead, after the Israelis relentless missiles and bombs pondering across the city and the densely populated refuge camps in the area. Many children are killed, some are lying there on the cold floor,  surrounded by parents and relatives stricken by grief.

Since the Zionist Israel began its ground offensive on Saturday, most of the dead and wounded arriving at the Shefa hospital are civilians, as the Israeli offensive change from airs trikes to artillery shelling and the clashes between the courageous Palestinian resistance and the Israeli military, continued close to densely populated areas.

Traumatized people scream in agony, many of the wounded are treated in hallways, by nurses and doctors in distress, deeply affected by the heavy burden of responsibility and fear, tired to their bones, having not enough of sleep, the extremely horrible consequences of the Israelis terror have taken its weighty toll on them too.

Emergency generators gives the Gaza Strip hospitals power, after Israeli missile attacks have targeted and destroyed the power lines. In northern parts of Gaza Strip the towns and villages only receive approximately 1.5 hour/24 of electricity. Another problem that is devastating the Gaza Strip population, the banks and money transfer offices have been closed for the 5th consequent day.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the Israelis have killed over 100 children in Gaza Strip, in the past 3 days of massive assault. On Monday, 23 children between the ages of 2 and 15 were killed, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza said. 10 people from 2 families including 6 children, where killed in the Eastern parts of Gaza. The Israeli predators claim they only target Hamas fighters and rocket launching sites.

That is a big fat lie, the Israelis do not even allowed Palestinian medical crews in ambulances to recover the bodies of dead and injured people, only the Red Cross is allowed into the areas. However the Red Cross ambulances have also been shelled in the Israeli bombardment.Israeli aircraft have shelled three ambulances in Gaza, since the terror campaign began, killing seven Palestinian medics,  according to Gaza hospital sources.

On Monday, more than 50 Gaza residents has been killed in Beit Hanoun. On Sunday, Israeli warplanes bombed a house in Beit Hanoun, where Palestinians were mourning the death of a paramedic who was killed on Saturday, many people were wounded in this attack. A medical building owned by a relief organization was also bombed, the building was destroyed, along with an ambulance and three mobile medical clinics.Israeli artillery killed four people and wounded 16 others in a market in Al-Bureij Refugee Camp late on Monday. These killings bring the number of Palestinians killed on Monday to 50 people including children.

Earlier a man was killed on Monday by Israeli ground forces in the Atatra neigh borhood in Beit Lahia, in northern Gaza Strip. Two corpses has also been transferred from Jabaliya Refugee Camp to Kamal Edwan Hospital.A Hamas commander, Rafat Salman was killed earlier, and his home destroyed by heavy artillery shelling in the north eastern parts of Gaza Strip, This is where the resistance is strong. Israeli ground troops have failed to enter the center of the town. Palestinian fighters of all fractions, have together resisted, defending the northern frontier with heavy machine gunfire, launching projectiles and setting off explosive charges against invading Israeli predators.

On Monday night, Israeli troops had encircled Gaza City after approaching from four directions, afraid to be killed if invading the central parts of the city, where many unexpected surprises are waiting. Meanwhile Israeli warplanes continue to pound from the air the central parts of the city. A major confrontation is taking place in the area, a fierce battle between the Palestinian armed resistance and the Israeli military have raged the northern outskirts of Gaza City. So far it appears that resistance groups other than Al Qassam Brigades, the Hamas armed branch, including Al Quds Brigade (Islamic Jihad), and Al-Aqsa Brigades ( Fatah ) are involved in the battle in the front lines. It is possible the Al Qassam Brigades with an army of 20.000 soldiers are awaiting in the last lines, the confrontations with the Israeli army.


Beit Lahia Families Seak Safety In UNRWA Schools

January 6 2009
By Hiyam Noir

Beit Lahia January 6 2009
Photo ” name withheld ”
PalestineFreeVoice Images

BEIT LAHIA – After Israeli ground invasion of Gaza Strip, Palestinian families in Beit Lahia has found safety in UNRWA schools. More than 50 people including 17 children have been killed by Israeli air strikes and artillery fire in less than three days in the Beit Lahia area.  The people in this northern town and the surrounding area, have only access to electric power during 1.5 of 24 hours.

Local Mosques, schools and other public buildings, pharmacists, hospitals, homes, markets, farmland, police cars, ambulances and private cars has been targeted, bombed and destroyed by the Zionists. The Palestinian resistance, Good Bless them, held the northern frontier of Gaza Strip stationed in and around of Beit Lahia, where the resistance is strong, defending courageously the little town in spite of heavy Israeli bombardments.


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Published in: on January 6, 2009 at 4:55 pm  Comments Off on Gaza hospital overwhelmed by dead and wounded  
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