The Indonesian Hospital in Gaza is closed and around 45 patients who urgently need surgery are currently stranded in waiting rooms, the head of the hospital, Atef al-Kahlout, told al Jazeera on Thursday (16/11), as quoted by the Reuters news agency.
“Indonesian hospitals have stopped serving and operating altogether,” said al-Kahlout. “Due to our clinical inability to accommodate patients from Gaza and the northern region, we announce that the hospital has stopped operating completely.”
Until this news was published, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and MER-C, which manages the hospital in Gaza, had not confirmed the closure.
According to al-Kahlout, Indonesian Hospitals are not functioning due to a lack of various supplies, while there are too many patients to treat.
Indonesian Hospital in Gaza City on November 1, 2023 amidst ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas. (Photo: AFP)
Photos obtained by al Jazeera TV from the hospital in Beit Lahiya show a number of injured Palestinian patients lining the halls, some of them lying on their stomachs in pools of blood.
Although the hospital has a capacity of 140 patients, al-Kahlout said about 500 patients are currently inside the hospital. He said 45 patients required “immediate surgical intervention”, and asked ambulances “not to take more injured people” to the hospital.
A number of health workers at the hospital said there was a severe shortage of supplies.
More than 11,400 people have been killed, including more than 4,600 children, in Israeli attacks on Gaza, according to Palestinian health authorities. Israel has also severely restricted supplies of water, food, electricity and fuel, and aid agencies have warned of a humanitarian catastrophe in the region.
The Indonesian Hospital, located near the Jabalia refugee camp – the largest in Gaza – has also accommodated hundreds of refugees who have sought refuge there.
The area around the hospital has been attacked several times by Israeli forces, and at least two civilians were killed in attacks between October 7 and 28, according to human rights organization Human Rights Watch.
The Israeli military accused the Indonesian Hospital of being used “to hide an underground command and control center” for Hamas. Palestinian officials and the Indonesian group that funds the hospital have denied the claims.
Meanwhile, concerns are growing for the thousands of civilians trapped in al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical complex, amid the ongoing Israeli offensive. Israel says the hospital is a Hamas command center, but the group denies this claim.
White House spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday that the United States was “confident in our intelligence assessment” that Hamas had used the hospital “as a command and control center, and likely also as a storage facility.”
On Thursday (16/11) evening, the Israeli army published videos it said showed Hamas tunnels and a vehicle “containing a large number of weapons” found inside the al-Shifa Hospital compound in Gaza. (ab/ka)