Israeli attacks forces shut down of one of last remaining hospitals in Rafah

Over a million Palestinians in Rafah are left with just one hospital running after an Israeli attack forced Kuwaiti hospital to shut down

May 28, 2024 by Peoples Dispatch
Displaced families in Rafah (Photo via Wafa News Agency/X)

On Monday, May 27, a day after the Israeli bombing of a tent shelter which killed over 45 Palestinians and injured several others, Israeli conducted repeated attacks against one of the two remaining hospitals in Rafah, Kuwaiti Hospital, forcing it to shut down.

Kuwaiti Hospital was one of the only two major hospitals still functioning in Rafah, since the Israeli war has shut down or destroyed most others. Many of the 250 people injured from the Israeli attack on Sunday were being treated in the hospital.

On Monday, at least two on-duty health workers were killed in an Israeli attack near the entry of the hospital. At least five other medical staff from the hospital have been injured in previous attacks. 

According to the latest reports, Israeli forces also attacked a separate hospital, the Indonesian Field Hospital (now the last remaining hospital), in Rafah later on Monday, trapping all medical staff inside.  

The statement issued by the director of the Kuwaiti hospital, Suhail al-Hams, claimed that shutting down the hospital was the only option left, given Israel’s repeated assaults on the medical facilities in Rafah and in other parts of Gaza since the beginning of the war on October 7. 

The statement, however, claimed that the staff of the Kuwaiti Hospital would be transferred to a field hospital being prepared in the vicinity. 

The Ministry of Health in Gaza called the attack on Kuwait hospitals on Monday a “heinous crime” and a part of Israeli attempt to destroy the health system in the Palestinian territory completely.

Despite warnings of great humanitarian disaster, Israel has launched a ground offensive in the densely populated Rafah earlier this month, targeting displaced Palestinians and other civilian infrastructure. The Israeli attacks have forced hundreds of thousands of already displaced Palestinians to move again in search of “safer places,” without any success.

“We urge the international community and UN agencies to intervene to protect the health facilities and workers from Israeli occupation’s terrorism, killing and destruction,” the Ministry said in its statement.  

Meanwhile, Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza announced on Monday that it is suffering from major power outages due to a serious fuel shortage. The hospital is currently treating thousands of patients and injured people, and has called on international organizations for help to access more fuel.

According to the WHO, over 723 health workers have been killed in the Israeli war in Gaza so far. Out of the 36 hospitals in Gaza, repeated Israeli attacks have forced over two-thirds of them to shut down.

Some of the hospitals, such as Al-Shifa, were turned into killing fields by Israeli forces after they raided and captured them. Allegations of mass murder of patients and other Palestinians inside its premises emerged, following the withdrawal of the occupation forces from the Al-Shifa hospital in March. Similar reports of mass graves being found in Nasser hospital also emerged. 

Only a dozen hospitals were partially functioning by the beginning of May, providing health care to over 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, who face daily Israeli bombardment and ground attacks, as well as food insecurity, water and sanitation. Over 36,000 Palaestinians have been killed and over 81,000 have been injured in the genocidal Israeli war on Gaza, which completed 236 days on Tuesday.