November 16, 2023
From Popular Resistance

Doctors dig mass grave.

Al-Shifa Hospital medical staff forced to dig a mass grave to bury 170 bodies as the hospital can’t refrigerate bodies without electricity. Israeli minister Bezalel Smotrich says “voluntary migration” is the only solution for Palestinians in Gaza Strip.


  • 11,180 killed*, including 4,609 children, and 27,490 wounded in Gaza
  • 195 Palestinians killed* in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
  • Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,200

*This figure covers the casualties from October 7 to November 12.

Key Developments

  • Gaza’s hospitals are lacking sufficient food and water, thousands of displaced people are reported to have sought shelter in them.
  • Gaza health official: “[Israel] is sentencing everyone inside Al-Shifa hospital to death.”
  • Al-Shifa Hospital medical staff and volunteers dug a mass grave to bury 170 bodies that started to decompose as mortuary refrigeration lost electricity.
  • Al-Amal Hospital’s sole power generator stopped working in Khan Yunis, south of Gaza Strip, putting the lives of hundreds of patients and injured at risk of death.
  • 3,250 people reportedly still missing or under the rubble, including 1,700 children, according to Gaza Ministry of Health.
  • Israeli forces storm hospital in the West Bank and fired tear gas at another. Eight Palestinians killed in the past 24 hours in Tulkarm and Hebron.
  • Abdulrahman Ahmed Muhammad Marei, 33, is the fifth prisoner to die inside Israeli jails since October 7.

Mass Grave Dug In Al-Shifa Hospital As Israel Lays Siege

All of the Palestinian hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip have gone out of service in the sixth week of Israel’s war on Gaza, including Al-Shifa, the largest medical complex.

Hundreds of lives are at risk of death, and thousands of civilians remain trapped inside the hospitals’ premises, Gaza’s Deputy Health Minister Yousef Abu el-Rish told AFP.

“We cannot reach the dozens of women who will give birth. We received reports of cases in which women gave birth in the street or at home without a midwife. Snipers shoot at anyone moving from building to building inside the hospital,” Abu el-Rish explained.

He said that they were forced to evacuate patients and medical staff over the weekend from Al-Rantisi Hospital, after receiving threats from the Israeli forces.

Hospitals are lacking sufficient food and water, and there are unconfirmed numbers of thousands of displaced people who sought shelter in them.

Al-Shifa Hospital, northern Gaza’s largest medical facility, has been under fire and siege from Israeli tanks and forces for the past week.

Abu el-Rish said Israel is “sentencing everyone inside [Al-Shifa] hospital to death.”

On Tuesday morning, Munir al-Bursh, the Health Ministry’s General Director, told Al-Jazeera Arabic in a phone call, that Israeli forces prevented the burial of bodies in a nearby cemetery, which forced the staff to dig a mass grave for 170 bodies inside the Al-Shifa complex.

Al-Bursh said medical staff and volunteers dug the grave with shovels and their hands when bodies started to decompose as the hospital has no electricity to run mortuary refrigeration.

A member of MĂ©decins Sans FrontiĂšres (MSF) inside Al-Shifa Hospital said Monday that they “need a guarantee that there is a safe corridor because we saw some people trying to leave Al-Shifa, [Israeli forces] killed them, they bombed them, the sniper killed them.”

MSF tweeted the testimony of the member, who also said that there were a number of bodies and injured people outside Al-Shifa complex, which ambulances and paramedics could not reach due to Israel snipers’ fire and bombings.

They currently have no food and water, and internet and phone communication are not stable.

“The medical team agreed to leave the hospital only if patients are evacuated first: we don’t want to leave our patients,” MSF’s member said.

Al-Shifa is not the only hospital to be attacked or under siege.

On Tuesday, Al-Jazeera reported that almost 100 patients and medical staff are trapped inside Al-Hilo Hospital in Gaza City after Israeli tanks encircled the area. Since October 7, 25 out of Gaza’s 35 hospitals have completely stopped working, the majority of them are in the northern Gaza Strip.

The only hospital operating in Gaza on Tuesday morning was Al-Ahli in the Al-Zaytoun area, according to Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS). In the early days of the war, hundreds were killed when Israeli bombed the courtyard of the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital where thousands of people were sheltering.

However, the PRCS said that Al-Ahli was only handling mild and moderate cases to ease pressure on the emergency department after the PRCS-affiliated Al-Quds Hospital went out of service.

PRCS said Al-Amal Hospital’s sole power generator stopped working in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, putting the lives of hundreds of patients and injured at risk of death.

“Around 9,000 displaced individuals have sought refuge in the PRCS premises and [Al-Amal] Hospital,” the PRCS said.

“The hospital is currently relying on a very small generator to supply electricity to light the maternity ward and emergency department. It’s important to note that the remaining fuel is expected to run out within the next 24 hours,” it added.

For the past few days, the death toll in the Gaza Strip has not been updated by the Ministry of Health due to the disruption of communication services.

But on Monday evening, the latest figure released by the ministry and reported by Wafa news agency, was 11,180 martyrs, 4,609 children, 3,100 women, and 678 elderly people. The figure covers the casualties from October 7 to November 12.

There are reports of 3,250 people still missing or under the rubble, including 1,700 children.

On Monday, the United Nations paid tribute to 101 members of staff killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, the highest record of casualties in the UN history.

“Today, the UN family observed a moment of silence to mourn & honour our colleagues killed in Gaza,” Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, said.

“They will never be forgotten,” he added on X.

West Bank: Hospitals Attacked As Dozens Of Palestinians Are Killed, Injured, And Arrested

The Israeli assault on Palestinian hospitals has extended to the occupied West Bank, where Israeli forces are continuing the mass arrest campaign that began on October 7.

On Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Ministry of Health reported that dozens of civilians and medical staff suffered from severe eye and respiratory pain when Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters at Thabet Thabet government-run hospital in the city of Tulkarm.

The ministry released a video on Telegram showing the emergency department at Thabet Thabet Hospital engulfed with a cloud of tear gas smoke.

On Monday night, Israeli forces stormed Hugo Chavez Eye Hospital in the town of Turmus Ayya, northeast of Ramallah, Wafa reported.

Turmus Ayya’s residents have routinely suffered from Jewish settlers’ attacks. In June, almost 400 settlers attacked the village, killing a Palestinian man and burning 30 vehicles and 30 properties.

Wafa reported that Israeli forces conducted a “field investigation” and questioned workers at Hugo Chavez Hospital.

“The interrogation of medical staff is a blatant violation of medical and health institutions,” said the Ministry of Health.

In the past 24 hours, eight Palestinians were killed in the cities of Tulkarm and Hebron.

On Monday night, three Palestinians were killed and three were injured in a missile attack launched from an Israeli drone in the Al-Ghanem neighborhood in Tulkarm refugee camp.

Thabet Thabet Hospital announced that the three martyrs were identified as Saeed Suleiman Youssef Abu Tahoun, 24, Jihad Khaled Muqbil Ghanem, 27, and Musab Omar Ahmed Al-Ghoul, 21.

The Ministry of Health said that four others were killed in Tulkarm after being shot by Israeli forces who stormed the city.

Mahmoud Ali Hadayda, 25, and Hazem Muhammad Hosri, 28, were were shot by live bullets in the chest. Four people were injured by snipers bullets who were deployed on the houses’ roofs, Wafa reported.

Israeli forces blocked ambulances from entering Tulkarm camp. Medhat Abu Amsha was arrested from inside an ambulance while being transported to the hospital, Wafa said.

The health ministry announced that two people succumbed to their wounds on Tuesday morning. Israeli forces had bulldozed Al-Madares Street at the entrance of Tulkarm camp and part of Al-Quds Open University Street, damaging infrastructure.

At least 32 Palestinians have been killed in Tulkarm since October 7, Wafa reported. In total since October 7, 195 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the West Bank and at least 2,700 injured.

In Hebron, Muhammad Abd al-Majid Halayqa, 20, succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday after being shot by Israeli forces near the town of Beit Ainun, northeast of Hebron.

On Tuesday, the Prisoners’ Affairs Authority and the Prisoners’ Club said that Abdulrahman Ahmed Muhammad Marei, 33, is the fifth prisoner to die inside Israeli jails since October 7, accusing Israeli authorities of a “new premeditated assassination.”

Marei is from Qarawat Bani Hassan, northwest of Salfit, and was detained in Megiddo prison since February.

The number of Palestinians arrested since October 7 in occupied West Bank and Jerusalem rose to 2,750. In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces arrested 28 people from Hebron, Jerusalem, Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, Bethlehem, and Qalqilya.

Israeli Captive Killed In Israeli Airstrike, Hamas Fires Rockets At Tel Aviv

Abu Obaida, the Izz el-Din al-Qassam Brigades spokesman, said on Monday evening that an Israeli captive held by Hamas was killed during the indiscriminate Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

Abu Obaida said also that Israel rejected a Qatari-mediated five-day truce in which Hamas would release a total of 70 captives in return for the freeing of all Palestinian children and women prisoners inside Israeli jails.

Hamas also announced that it destroyed 20 military vehicles in the Gaza Strip since Saturday, and also launched rockets at the Tel Aviv metropolitan area on the 38th day of the war.

Fighting is still ongoing in the Al-Shat refugee camp in Beit Hanoun, and the triangle of Al-Twam, Al-Karameh Towers, and Al-Mukhabarat Towers.

Hamas said on Tuesday morning that it attacked an Israeli force barricaded inside a building in north Gaza, and that it attacked two “Zionist tanks” west of Gaza City with 105mm Al-Yaseen shells and the 114mm Rajum rocket launcher.

Islamic Jihad’s armed wing announced on Tuesday morning that it launched mortar shells at Israeli forces stationed near the kibbutz of Kissufim.

Sirens went off in a number of settlements near the Gaza Strip and the town of Askalan on Tuesday.

The Israeli army said that an air defense missile was fired at an “aerial target” near Eilat.

Sirens went off in the upper Galilee, and Israel said it bombed targets in the Lebanese town of Aita Al-Shaab. The Hezbollah movement also announced that it targeted the Israeli sites of Al-Malkia and Al-Burj.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned on Monday of an Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip.

He said that there is “no military or security solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The root of the crisis is Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and its denial of Palestinians’ legitimate rights.”

The monarch added that “the solution starts from there, and any other path is doomed to failure and more of a cycle of violence and destruction.”

Israel’s far-right Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, suggested on Tuesday that “voluntary migration” of Palestinians from Gaza could be “the only solution.”

“This is the right humanitarian solution for the residents of Gaza and the entire region,” Smotrich wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

“The reception of refugees by the countries of the world that really want their best interests, with the support and generous financial assistance of the international community, and within the state of Israel is the only solution that will bring to the end of the suffering and pain of Jews and Arabs alike.”

“The State of Israel will no longer be able to put up with the existence of an independent entity in Gaza,” he added.