Gaza's largest hospital has become a "death zone," the World Health Organisation said Sunday, announcing plans to evacuate the facility, as Israel's army said it was expanding operations to destroy Hamas. Read our live blog for all the latest developments in the Israel-Hamas war. All times are Paris time (GMT+1).
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About casualty figures from Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry:
Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, the largest in the enclave, receives data from every hospital in the strip. Hospital administrators say they keep records of every wounded person occupying a bed and every body arriving at a morgue. The ministry also collects from other sources including the Palestinian Red Crescent.
The health ministry does not report how Palestinians were killed, whether from Israeli airstrikes and artillery barrages or errant Palestinian rocket fire. It describes all casualties as victims of "Israeli aggression". The ministry also does not distinguish between civilians and combatants.
Throughout four wars and numerous skirmishes between Israel and Hamas, UN agencies have cited the Hamas-run health ministry's death tolls in regular reports. The International Committee of the Red Cross and Palestinian Red Crescent also use the numbers.
In the aftermath of war, the UN humanitarian office has published final death tolls based on its own research into medical records. The UN's counts have largely been consistent with the Gaza health ministry's, with small discrepancies.
For more on the Gaza health ministry's tolls, click here.
(FRANCE 24 with AP)
Key Developments from Saturday, November 18:
- Hundreds of people evacuated Gaza's Al Shifa hospital on Saturday, making their way towards the seafront in Gaza City. Some staff stayed behind to care for more than 100 wounded patients and premature babies that could not be moved, the Hamas-run health ministry said.
- Al Shifa director Mohammed Abu Salmiya said Israeli forces had issued orders to evacuate patients, displaced people and staff from the medical complex. Israel's army denied ordering the evacuation. It said the army responded to a "request of the director of the Shifa Hospital" to enable Gazans to leave the hospital.
- Some 17,000 litres (about 4,500 gallons) of fuel entered Gaza on Friday through the Rafah crossing with Egypt, a Palestinian border official said
Read yesterday's blog here.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)