The Palestine Red Crescent Society said it has received a warning Sunday from the Israeli military to immediately evacuate Al-Quds Hospital, the second-largest in Gaza City, ahead of possible bombardment.
The hospital is located in the Tal Al Hawa neighborhood, in Gaza City, north of Wadi Gaza – the line south of which the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has urged people in Gaza to flee.
The hospital is located in the Tal Al Hawa neighbourhood, in Gaza city, north of Wadi Gaza – the line south of which the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has urged people in Gaza to flee.
The Palestinian Red Crescent "has just received a new threat by the Israeli Authorities this morning, ordering the team to immediately evacuate Al-Quds Hospital," reads a statement from the organization.
"Two phone calls were received, with a clear and direct threat, that the hospital must be evacuated at once, otherwise PRCS holds full responsibility for the lives of everyone inside the hospital," the organization said.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the evacuation threat as "deeply concerning."
"We reiterate - it’s impossible to evacuate hospitals full of patients without endangering their lives," he added in a post on social media Sunday.
In response to questions about the Palestinian Red Crescent statement, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Maj. Nir Dinar told CNN on Sunday, "They received much more than two (warnings) for the last three weeks."
Al-Quds Hospital is treating hundreds of patients, including wounded people, patients in intensive care and children in incubators, the Palestinian Red Crescent said. In addition, approximately 12,000 internally displaced civilians are currently sheltering at the hospital.
The aid organization's management and operations teams, which are helping civilians staying in the northern Gaza Strip, are also stationed in the hospital, the organization said.
"All medical facilities and medical missions, as well as civilians are protected under international Humanitarian Law. States Parties to the Geneva Convention, are called upon to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances," the Palestinian Red Crescent said. "We call once again on the international community as a whole, The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the UN system and the International agencies to act immediately and save Al-Quds Hospital, as well as all hospitals in Gaza from being targeted, and to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe from unfolding," it added.
Repeated warnings: In a statement released on October 14, the World Health Organization strongly condemned "Israel's repeated orders" for the evacuation of 22 hospitals in northern Gaza, and said those evacuation orders are "a death sentence for the sick and injured."
"Hospital directors and health workers are now facing an agonizing choice: abandon critically ill patients amid a bombing campaign, put their own lives at risk while remaining on site to treat patients, or endanger their patients’ lives while attempting to transport them to facilities that have no capacity to receive them," WHO said.
"Overwhelmingly, caregivers have chosen to stay behind, and honor their oaths as health professionals to 'do no harm,' rather than risk moving their critically ill patients during evacuations," WHO said. "Health workers should never have to make such impossible choices," it added.