Only one hospital in northern Gaza is operational, the United Nations said, as Israeli strikes hammer areas near and at medical facilities, leaving medical workers fighting to keep patients, including premature babies, alive.
“All but one of the hospitals in Gaza City and northern Gaza are reportedly out of service, as of 13 November, due to the lack of power, medical consumables, oxygen, food and water, compounded by bombardments and fighting in their vicinities,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Tuesday.
Out of roughly 30 hospitals and clinics in northern Gaza, only one medical facility can reportedly receive patients, according to the UN. At least 500 patients are trying to shelter at Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, in Gaza City.
Recently, US President Joe Biden has expressed concern for hospitals in Gaza amid Israeli allegations that Hamas is using them to coordinate attacks.
“Well, you know, I have not been reluctant expressing in my concern with what's going on, and it’s my hope and expectation that there will be less intrusive action relative to the hospitals, we’re in contact with the Israelis,” the president said on Monday.
Biden added that there is an effort to take “this pause to deal with the release of prisoners, and that's being negotiated as well, and the Qataris are engaged, so I remain somewhat hopeful, but the hospitals must be protected.”
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan echoed Biden's remark on Monday, saying, "We do not want to see firefights in hospitals."
"We want to see patients protected," Sullivan said. "We want to see hospitals protected. We have spoken with the Israeli Government about this and they have said they share that view that they do not want to see firefights in hospitals."
Some context: Israel has repeatedly claimed there is a Hamas command center underneath Al-Shifa hospital, the largest medical facility in Gaza, which Hamas and hospital officials have denied. The Israeli military has also previously accused Hamas of embedding itself in civilian infrastructure.
CNN cannot independently verify the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claims.
Israeli authorities said they called for the evacuation of hospitals in the north, ahead of their offensive. But health workers at Al-Shifa told CNN they refused the order because they cannot leave patients, including at least 700 who will die if they are left behind.
CNN cannot independently verify whether any people have been able to evacuate.
CNN's Hamdi Alkhshali, Jo Shelley, Helen Regan, Abeer Salman and Kareem Khadder contributed reporting.