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Doctor says Israeli forces ‘found nothing’, supplies low at Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital

A doctor at the Gaza Strip’s Al Shifa hospital said that Israeli forces had “found nothing” during searches of the hospital complex and that food and water were running out.

Doctor Ahmed El Mokhallalati told Reuters by telephone that despite the “difficult” conditions at the hospital, no babies had died there since Israeli troops entered it on Wednesday.

Israel says Hamas has a command centre underneath the hospital, an assertion the Palestinian militant group denies. Reuters has been unable to verify the situation at the hospital independently.

“It’s a totally terrifying situation, here the Israeli tanks and the Israeli troops have been moving within the hospital area, all over the hospital,” said Mokhallalati, a surgeon born in Ireland who trained in Cairo and practised in London.


“The situation is totally difficult. They are shooting all the time, all the areas.”

The Israeli military said on Thursday it had uncovered a Hamas tunnel shaft and a vehicle with weapons at the Al Shifa hospital complex. It also made public videos and photographs to support its statement.

Speaking in English, Mokhallalati said: “They have found nothing. They have found no single resistance. No single gunshot, against them within the hospital area.”

The hospital, packed with patients and displaced people and struggling to keep operating, has become a focus of global concern.

Mokhallalati said the Israeli military had provided some supplies since entering the hospital but that it was insufficient.

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“What happened is that the people, we run out of food, we ran out of drinking water,” Mokhallalati said. “And then, yesterday, they arranged some, just some food and water, which is very, very minimal, which doesn’t cover, maybe 40% of the number of people around here.”

Dr Mohamed Tabasha, head of the paediatric department at Al Shifa, said on Monday three newborn babies had died as problems mounted at the hospital, and that the 36 remaining newborns were at risk.

“As of yesterday they were 36, luckily no one has lost their lives,” he said on Friday.