Netanyahu Rejects Calls for Cease-Fire as Heavy Fighting Erupts near Gaza HospitalNovember 12, 2023
The Gaza Strip has been under continuous Israeli airstrikes as ground forces battle Hamas near the territory’s largest hospital, trapping thousands of medics, patients, and displaced people with limited supplies and no electricity.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected international calls for a cease-fire unless all nearly 240 hostages captured by Hamas are released. Israel is determined to end Hamas’ 16-year rule in Gaza and has been blaming the group for the heavy toll on the 2.3 million Palestinians in the territory.
Heavy airstrikes and shelling have been reported in Gaza City, with Israel accusing Hamas of concealing a command post inside the territory’s largest hospital, Shifa Hospital, an allegation denied by the group. The hospital’s last generator ran out of fuel, resulting in the deaths of several patients. Issues of water and electricity shortage, as well as snipers deployed around Shifa, continue to pose challenges.
Civilians have been offered a safe corridor to evacuate from Shifa to southern Gaza, but those sheltering in the hospital are hesitant to go outside. Additionally, the Red Crescent hospital is no longer operational due to a lack of fuel. An estimated 20,000 people are seeking shelter in the hospital while the death toll continues to rise.
The war has displaced over two-thirds of Gaza’s population, leading to dire conditions in the territory. Israel and Lebanon have also engaged in conflict, prompting concerns of a wider conflict escalation. The U.S. has pushed for temporary pauses in the hostilities to allow humanitarian aid to reach civilians in Gaza, but Israel’s agreement is limited to brief daily periods for civilians to flee the area of ground combat.
The situation remains dire, with thousands of casualties on both sides and a massive displacement of Palestinian civilians. Netanyahu’s government has proposed postwar plans for Gaza, suggesting demilitarization and a continued military presence. The U.S. opposes an Israeli reoccupation of Gaza and envisions a unified Palestinian government, further complicating efforts to resolve the conflict.