Daily Mail

180 burials in mass grave at hospital

- From Nick Craven

NearlY 180 people were buried in a mass grave inside Gaza’s largest hospital yesterday, as the crisis over the fate of its patients and 36 neo-natal babies deepened.

Israel Defence Forces, which has surrounded al shifa hospital, said it was ‘sending incubators’ in coordinati­on with the red Cross to have the babies moved, but doctors insisted what they needed was fuel to run generators.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry insisted no plan was in place to evacuate babies from al shifa despite the Israeli offer.

The IDF says the complex in Gaza City sits above a Hamas terrorist headquarte­rs. But due to health risks from decomposin­g bodies, 179 corpses were buried in the grounds.

Hamas denies its fighters are present and says 650 patients and between 5,000-7,000 displaced civilians are trapped inside the hospital grounds, under constant fire from snipers and drones. It said 40 patients have died in recent days, including three premature babies whose incubators could not run.

The fate of al shifa has become a focus of internatio­nal alarm, including from Israel’s closest ally, the United states.

Without fuel for generators to power incubators, the infants were being kept warm as best as possible, lined up eight to a bed.

Israel announced yesterday it was offering portable, battery-powered incubators so the babies could be moved. But ashraf al-Qidra, Gaza’s health ministry spokesman, said no arrangemen­ts had been establishe­d to carry out any such evacuation. ‘We have no objection to the babies being moved to any hospital, in egypt, the West Bank or even to the occupation (Israeli) hospitals,’ he said. ‘The occupation is still besieging the hospital and they are firing into the yards.’

Israel denies the hospital is under siege and says it allows routes for those inside to exit. Medics and officials inside the hospital say those trying to leave have come under fire.

The Israelis also claimed they found signs that Hamas held hostages in the basement of the al-rantisi children’s hospital in Gaza City, releasing a video showing a baby milk bottle, makeshift toilet and a bullet-scarred motorbike. The IDF said the bike was used to take hostages from Israel, and also showed a chair with rope near the legs.

But Hamas officials denounced the claims and said the basement was a storage area.

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