1 of 3 | Gaza's health ministry said at least 12 people were killed overnight in shelling of the Indonesian Hospital in the north of the strip with hundreds trapped inside as Israel continued its air and ground offensive against the 25-by-6-mile-wide territory. Photo by Atef Safadi/EPA-EFE
Nov. 20 (UPI) -- At least 12 people were killed overnight in Israeli shelling of Gaza's Indonesian Hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip with hundreds hemmed in inside as Israeli forces close in on the facility, Gaza authorities said.
Israeli tanks have the hospital surrounded with the territory's Hamas-run Ministry of Health describing the situation in the aftermath of the artillery strikes Monday as "catastrophic" with hundreds of people unable to get to safety.
"The Indonesian Hospital staff are insisting they will stay to treat the wounded. There are about 700 people, including medical staff and injured people, inside the hospital," said healthy ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra.
The BBC quoted hospital director Marwan Al-Sultan as saying Israeli forces were not far from the building.
He said the hospital had come under fire and that its post-operative care department had been damaged.
Health officials said they were scrambling to try to evacuate civilians while hospital staff insisted there were no armed Hamas or Islamic Jihad fighters at the site.
Israeli Defense Forces' latest update stated only that it had killed three Hamas company commanders and IDF troops "continue to operate in the Gaza Strip, directing aircraft to strike terrorists, terrorist infrastructure, and locating weapons and military equipment."
Indonesia's foreign ministry condemned Israel's actions and urged Israel's allies to exercise their influence to get it to rein in its military.
"The attack is a clear violation of international humanitarian laws," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a news briefing.
"All countries, especially those that have close relations with Israel, must use all their influence and capabilities to urge Israel to stop its atrocities."
Speaking from Beijing where she is attending a peace summit, Marsudi added that concern was growing regarding the safety of three Indonesian nationals working as volunteers at the Indonesia Hospital whom officials have been unable to contact.
The meeting of foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, and the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation was to push for an immediate cease-fire and the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance, she said.
Earlier, IDF released videos and still images from Oct. 7 that it said are of two hostages in Al-Shifa Hospital. Spokesperson Daniel Hagari presented footage and photos that he said showed Hamas fighters moving the hostages, one Nepalese and a Thai, through the hospital.
The first video, from CCTV, shows what Hagari said was a walking hostage being brought through the main entrance and force-marched along a corridor. The second CCTV video is allegedly of a second, visibly injured, hostage on a gurney being pushed along a hallway and into a room.
The IDF released video Sunday from the Al-Shifa compound of what it said was a tunnel shaft leading down to an underground tunnel.
Displaced Palestinians live in a make-shift shelter in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 15, 2023. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License Photo