The Palestinian Red Cross says its staff are ‘trapped’ at Al-Quds Hospital
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) is not sure if its staff are still alive as they are “trapped” in Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City, a spokesman for the Palestinian Red Crescent told CNN on Tuesday.
“I don’t know if they’re still alive or not,” PRCS spokesperson Nebel Farzak told CNN’s Max Foster during an interview.
The organization, based in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, has been fighting for more than six days to get its teams inside the hospital. The PRCS was only able to communicate with its equipment via high-frequency radio waves, which Farzak said was “unstable” and prone to “stationary distortions”.
“Internet and communication links have been completely destroyed. So I can’t pick up the phone and call them. The situation is very bad,” he explained.
About 300 patients of the hospital and PRCS medical staff “couldn’t get out,” Farzak said, and all surrounding roads were closed. He said everyone inside was “trapped” and heard continuous shelling and gunfire in the surrounding area.
A PRCS convoy attempted to travel from southern Gaza to Al-Quds Hospital this Monday to evacuate staff and patients. During an interview with CNN, Farzak said that after the PRCS searched the vehicles and gave them permission to travel to Al-Quds, the Israeli military informed the convoy that it could not travel there because there was a “military operation” there. Of course in the area.
CNN could not independently verify the PRCS claims about the convoy. CNN reached out to the Israel Defense Forces for comment, but has yet to hear back.
On Monday, the Israeli military said it had killed a group of Hamas fighters “embedded” among civilians at the hospital after firing on its troops from the entrance. However, the PRCS denied the Israeli army’s claims: “There were no armed men inside the hospital and no shots were fired from inside.”