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Israel and Hamas dispute claims of Gaza hospital fuel offer – as ‘babies among 12 dead’

Hamas has denied refusing an offer of fuel from Israel for Gaza’s biggest hospital, which the World Health Organisation says is “not functioning” due to bombing and gunfire.

The al Shifa hospital’s last generator ran out of fuel at the weekend, leading to the deaths of three premature babies and nine other patients, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.

Israel’s military said it had coordinated the delivery of 300 litres (79 gallons) of fuel with hospital officials, but claimed Hamas prevented the hospital from receiving it.

Hamas denied the claim, saying in a statement: “The offer belittles the pain and suffering of the patients who are trapped inside without water, food, or electricity. This quantity is not enough to operate hospital generators for more than 30 minutes.”


Follow updates: Deaths ‘increase significantly’ at Gaza’s largest hospital

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Gaza surgeon’s video diary

Israel has claimed that a Hamas control centre is situated under the hospital, which both medical staff at the hospital and Hamas have repeatedly denied.

A second hospital in Gaza, al Quds, closed to new patients on Sunday.

More on Israel-hamas War

Three UN agencies have expressed horror at the situation facing Gaza’s hospitals, saying they had recorded at least 137 attacks on healthcare facilities in 36 days resulting in 521 deaths and 686 injuries.

The director-general of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the situation in al Shifa hospital was “dire and perilous” with constant gunfire and bombing exacerbating the already critical circumstances.

“Tragically, the number of patient fatalities has increased significantly,” he said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Regrettably, the hospital is not functioning as a hospital anymore.”

Injured Palestinians wait to receive medical attention at al-Shifa hospital
Injured Palestinians wait to receive medical attention at al Shifa hospital. Pic: DPA/AP

Dr Ahmed El Mokhallalati, a plastic surgeon in al Shifa hospital, said the bombing of the building that houses incubators had forced medics to line up premature babies on ordinary beds, using the little power available to turn the air conditioning to warm.

A spokesperson for the health ministry in Gaza said the three premature babies who had died were among a total of 45 being kept in incubators at al Shifa.

“We are expecting to lose more of them day by day,” said Dr El Mokhallalati.

Inside the al Shifa hospital in northern Gaza, where fuel and supplies are beginning to run out, Palestinian officials say

Hamas said earlier on Sunday that it had suspended hostage negotiations with Israel over the country’s handling of the worsening situation at al Shifa hospital.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Sky News’ US partner network NBC News that Israel will not agree to a ceasefire unless all 239 Israeli hostages believed to be trapped in Gaza are released.

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‘There could be a deal’ to release hostages

“We have set a specific target and that is to destroy Hamas’s military capabilities and its governance capabilities,” Mr Netanyahu said.

“That is something we are achieving step by step.”

He also said a “great deal” is known about the location of the hostages – but he would not reveal any further details.

Mr Netanyahu continued to outline Israel’s post-war plans for Gaza – which are starkly at odds with its closest ally, the US.

Israeli soldiers take part in ground operations, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, at a location given as Gaza in this handout photo released November 11, 2023. Israeli Defense Forces/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY
Israeli soldiers take part in ground operations in Gaza

Palestinians mourn their relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, in the hospital in Khan Younis. Pic: AP
Palestinians mourn their relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, in the hospital in Khan Younis Pic: AP

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US opposes an Israeli reoccupation of Gaza and envisions a unified Palestinian government in Gaza and the West Bank as a step toward a Palestinian state – long opposed by Netanyahu’s government.

In France and the UK, protests relating to the Israel-Hamas conflict have sparked controversy over the weekend.

More than 180,000 people across France, including 100,000 in Paris, protested against rising antisemitism in the country.

Family members of some of the 40 French citizens killed in the initial Hamas attack, and of those missing or held hostage, also took part in the march.

Authorities in France, which has the largest Jewish population in Europe, have counted 1,247 antisemitic acts since 7 October – nearly three times as many as in the whole of 2022, according to the interior ministry.

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The country has banned several pro-Palestinian demonstrations, although supporters have marched in several French cities in recent weeks.

The fallout from the Armistice Day protests in London on Saturday also continued with Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy saying: “I don’t think London has ever seen such a large demonstration of rape apologists before.”

More than 300,000 people marched in the pro-Palestinian demonstration.

People during a pro-Palestinian protest on Park Lane in London, marching from Hyde Park to the US embassy in Vauxhall. Picture date: Saturday November 11, 2023. PA Photo. The coalition of groups behind the march are the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain, Palestinian Forum in Britain and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Trade unions and political groups such as the Socialist Worker. See PA story POLITICS Israel. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
People during a pro-Palestinian protest on Park Lane in London on Saturday

The main protest was largely peaceful but violent skirmishes broke out between the Metropolitan Police and counter-protesters from various right-wing groups.

Far-right counter protesters in Central London
Far-right counter protesters in central London

Seven people were charged with various offences on Sunday following the protests.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military has said seven IDF soldiers were “lightly injured” following mortar shell launches by Hezbollah in northern Israel on Sunday.

Ten other people were also wounded by rocket blasts and shrapnel, with two in critical condition, Israeli rescue services said.

Read more on Sky News:
Red Cross surgeon in Gaza gives harrowing account of child amputation
How does Hamas count those who have been killed?
Hezbollah’s leader threatens escalation

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What status do hospitals have in war?

The Israeli Defence Forces said it had identified 15 launches in an hour from Lebanon – where the powerful militant group Hezbollah is based – and had intercepted four.

The rest fell into open areas, it said.

Israeli officials earlier said Hezbollah had fired anti-tank missiles at an Israeli community just over the border, badly wounding utility workers.

The Israeli military said it was responding by striking the origin of the launch with artillery fire.

The UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon also said one of its members near the town of al Qawzah in southern Lebanon had been wounded in a shooting.


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