Israel says ready to evacuate babies from Gaza hospital

STORY: Major hospitals in northern Gaza stood at the center of Israel's onslaught against the Hamas Islamist group on Sunday (November 12).

Israel has said doctors, patients and thousands of evacuees who have taken refuge at hospitals in north Gaza must leave so it can destroy what it says are Hamas command centers under and around them.

Hamas denies using hospitals this way.

Gaza's biggest hospital Al Shifa and another major one, Al-Quds, both said they were suspending operations on Sunday.

At Al Shifa, Palestinian official says three premature babies had died and dozens more were at risk from lack of electricity.

In photos obtained by Reuters, premature babies are taken off incubators on Sunday after a near-complete power outage.

A doctor said these babies are now being placed on a bed with an air conditioner providing warmth.

Dr. Mohammad Qandil works in Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, in Gaza's south.

He has been in contact with colleagues in Al Shifa.

“Al Shifa hospital is now not working, nobody allowed in, nobody allowed out, and even if you are wounded or injured in the Gaza area, you cannot be evacuated by ambulance to Al Shifa hospital, so Al Shifa hospital now is out of service. This is the situation.”

"We will help the babies in the paediatric department to get to a safer hospital."

Israel's army spokesperson Daniel Hagari announced on Saturday (November 11) that it was ready to evacuate babies from Gaza's largest hospital on Sunday (November 12).

But Palestinian officials say had not been told how to get the babies to safety.

In a distressing scene in the Indonesian Hospital, also in northern Gaza, a baby boy had been rushed in from a house that was struck by an Israeli missile.

Medics were treating him with a manual resuscitator as power had been cut off.

Thousands took refuge in Al Shifa hospital complex.

Thousands more are now fleeing south to escape the worst of the fighting. Explosions ring out as women and children trudge down the road.

Meanwhile, Egyptian security sources said 80 foreigners and several injured Palestinians evacuated through the Rafah crossing on Sunday (November 12).

Sources said at least 80 aid trucks had also moved from Egypt to Gaza by Sunday afternoon.

The border crossing between Gaza and Egypt is the only entry point to the enclave not controlled by Israel.

Israel imposed a near-total siege on the Gaza Strip after Oct. 7, when Hamas fighters rampaged through southern Israel, killing about 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostage.

Palestinian officials said on Friday that over 11,000 Gaza residents had been killed in air and artillery strikes since October 7th, around 40% of them children.