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Breaking: Israel shelling hospital in Beit Hanoun, injured Palestinians and internationals trapped inside

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A Palestinian employee inspects damages at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, after the building was shelled by the Israeli army on July 21, 2014, killing five people and wounding at least 70. (Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP)

A Palestinian employee inspects damages at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, after the building was shelled by the Israeli army on July 21, 2014, killing five people and wounding at least 70. (Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP)

Over the past seven hours the Israeli military has shelled a hospital in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip where an injured international and Palestinians are trapped inside. I spoke to Swedish national Fred Ekblad briefly during a 15 minute lull in the fire.  He said the hospital was struck continuously since 7:00 pm this evening.

Although Ekblad described his injury as moderate, “I’m bleeding from my head in a few places. The bleeding has almost stopped,” he does have an open wound and is not receiving proper medical care in a facility that is under heavy artillery. When asked why Ekblad wasn’t being treated at the hospital in Beit Hanoun, Israeli activist Neta Golan who has been in touch with the foreign activist said due to the ongoing fire most were taking cover in the building’s corridors, including doctors, taking advantage of what little protection the hallways provided. Golan said the Swedish Embassy and the International Committee for the Red Cross had been notified, yet were not able to secure a medical transport for the young Swede. 

Below I’m posting the end of my conversation with Ekblad, before he abruptly ended the call. For the few moments we did speak, I could hear shelling in the background every few seconds, which Ekblad had said was striking the building next to the hospital:

I was standing watching TV, my friends were on the news holding a press conference and a shell from the tank hit the building and broke the glass from the window. The glass shattered from the window and I got it on my head, not only glass but concrete. Fuck, that was a direct hit on the hospital. That was a direct hit. I have to go now.

The ISM also sent a press release earlier this evening on Elkbad and one other international, Charlie Andreasson who is also trapped in the hospital under fire. The Israeli military has held strong the line that hospitals are human shields employed by Hamas to give cover to rocket launchers.

From the ISM

“It’s now chaos, the military is shelling directly at us. There are two patients on the second floor and we think they’re okay, but we can’t move them easily as they’re bed-bound. I’m bleeding from a head wound and there’s another person injured. People are very frightened.” Stated Fred Ekblad, Swedish ISM activist.

At 19:00, Beit Hanoun Hospital was first hit by an Israeli tank shell and the shooting and shelling has continually increased.

This afternoon, Israeli forces destroyed an ambulance in Beit Hanoun, killing one paramedic and critically injuring another.

Israeli forces have attacked three Gazan medical facilities and personnel in the last 24 hours. The first resulted in the destruction of Al Durrah Children’s Hospital in Gaza City last night. A two year-old child in the Intensive Care Unit was killed, and 30 others injured.

Due to previous shelling nearby, Beit Hanoun hospital has evacuated most of its patients to al-Shifa Hospital. Three patients remain in the hospital.

Since Israel began its attack on Gaza, 13 ambulances have been completely destroyed and two paramedics have been killed. Throughout the massacre, medical staff and facilities have been repeatedly targeted.

“Israel’s attacks on Gaza hospitals are ongoing, with those in areas by the separation barrier forced to evacuate their patients, paramedics and other rescue workers are doing what they can under conditions of great risk.” Stated Joe Catron, U.S. International Solidarity Movement activist.

According to the Gazan Ministry of Health, six out of Gaza’s 13 hospitals have already been severely damaged. One, el-Wafa rehabilitation hospital, has been completely destroyed.  Two medical clinics have been completely destroyed, seven other clinics have been damaged, 13 medical staff members have been injured, and five have been killed.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza has demanded, “the immediate cessation of Israeli occupation military attacks against medical facilities and personnel in Gaza, and demands that the international community soundly condemn this latest Israeli atrocity, and hold Israel accountable for these war crimes.”

For the latest news follow International Solidarity Movement updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Allison Deger
About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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36 Responses

  1. Kay24
    July 25, 2014, 7:11 pm

    This is just awful. They do not have any sense of decency. They are filled with rage, and hatred for these people, and will break any international laws, to show these poor powerless human beings, how brutal they are. I have never seen such viciousness from a so called democratic country. To think our idiot leaders keep defending these human animals, is unbelievable. I feel so bad for those helpless patients and medical personnel. What the hell is the UN and others doing. Stop this massacre that is going on before our eyes.
    No place is safe from these nazis, they are like savages.

  2. just
    July 25, 2014, 7:13 pm

    Ekland and Andreasson were actually protecting patients/staff in el- Wafa hospital last week iirc– before the GoI destroyed it.

    Foul, illegal targeting of civilians, all sorts. Targeting those that are skilled to help those that need it most. Israel must be held accountable for all of their crimes. This is not self- defense in any way, shape or form. It is WAR CRIMES.!

    Sweden– go ahead, lead the CHARGE! Norway– Dr. Mads Gilbert will agree! Denmark– come on now– remember the young Dane who got abused by the IOFer!

    Don’t forget Rachel Corrie, the Mavi Marmara, etc!

    Enough is enough.

    • Peace2All
      July 27, 2014, 8:44 am

      Sweden, Norway, Denmark and most of the European nations are muted perhaps afraid of 2nd Holocaust !!!

  3. In2u
    July 25, 2014, 7:20 pm

    They resorted to this to get their boys to do more killing.

    Hasbara at its lowest, War porn?

    • just
      July 25, 2014, 7:38 pm

      They wallow in all the circles of hell– that one’s the 2nd circle.

  4. just
    July 25, 2014, 7:25 pm

    OK– yesterday Israel bombed a UN shelter in Beit Hanoun and murdered 16 and wounded 150. These people were taken to an already overburdened hospital, and now Israel is bombing it.

    Never have I witnessed such disregard for law and the lives of innocents.

    Not ever.

    • Kay24
      July 25, 2014, 7:51 pm

      Just now on Erin Burnett/CNN they did such a great job making Dermer (not present at this time) and Oren look like idiots. Apparently Dermer had accused CNN of being biased, and not mentioning the accusations by the UN that Hamas had stored weapons in schools, so she played back Blitzer and Karl Penhaul’s reporting on it, which makes Dermer looked silly. Then she asked Oren, CNN consultant if he thought CNN is biased and he went off on a rant about how CNN keeps showing these “lurid” scenes of kids being injured, and that the world now condemns (news to me) Israel for the coverage. It seems they are sore that Israel’s war crimes are being shown for the entire world to see.
      She then asked Karl about it, and wow, he spoke so eloquently about how he and other fellow reporters are never told by any militant, or others what they are supposed to video, and that they are free to cover any incident they want, even in the hospital. He said they are only asked not to take pictures of some person or the other at times, he says maybe that patient was a militant. Apart from that he says no one directs them as to what should be reported or shown.

      I bet Oren felt small and totally wrong, and I enjoyed seeing 2 of Israelis ambassadors looking like little kids throwing a tantrum, and being called on it.
      They are trying to intimidate the networks and stop them from showing the American people the truth and the ugly scenes because of their brutality.
      Hope Erin and Karl will have their jobs tomorrow.
      Must watch if you can find it.

      • oldgeezer
        July 25, 2014, 8:08 pm

        Yes it was a brilliant dissection of false allegations thrown about by Israel. Not sure why I had cnn on …. Well yes I do… I get so irritate when regev says let me be clear. let me be perfectly clear. I would so love to be an interviewer, cut him off and say you’re so clear we can see right through your words and you. I’d lose my job but I’d be soooo happy.

        Karl was fantastic. No messing about. No backing down.

      • seafoid
        July 26, 2014, 4:43 am

        Gideon rachman has a very insightful post up at

        called ‘Israel loses control’

        1. No initial goals achieved
        2. School shelling is killing hasbara
        3 danger of 3rd intifada
        4 very high idf dead for what was supposed to be routine sadism
        5 hamas strengthened

      • Kay24
        July 26, 2014, 7:52 am

        All true. Israel has waged what we can consider a haphazard war, that has backfired on them. They keep mentioning tunnels as if to justify 900 civilians being killed, but that sounds so lame, when UN shelters are being bombed.
        The chutzpah! Immediately this atrocity happened, the IDF spokesperson quickly blamed Hamas, KNOWING FULLY WELL THEY HAD WARNED THE UN THAT THEY WERE GOING TO DO SO AND WHEN THE UN HAD TOLD THEY THEY NEEDED TIME TO EVACUATE THE REFUGEES, THEY HAD NOT BOTHERED TO ANSWER, and that they did it. They are stinking liars.
        Bibi must keep his bloody war going, because he has nothing to brag about but killing 900 Palestinians.

      • ckg
        July 26, 2014, 3:53 pm

        Kay– Mediaite did a piece on titled CNN’s Erin Burnett Fact-Checks Israeli Ambassador’s Criticisms of CNN. It has a video link.

      • Peace2All
        July 27, 2014, 8:31 am

        Bibi knows he is untouchable ; where are all the Western champion for democracy ? Why are the head of European nations so shy now but very supportive againt Saddam Iraq.

      • Peace2All
        July 27, 2014, 8:36 am

        If you believe in a higher power then God our Creator exposes what the Zionist tried so hard to conceal. He works in a mysterious way !!!

    • Peace2All
      July 27, 2014, 8:41 am

      israel knows that the world is too divided and weak to check mate them. Bibi is secretly laughing at his European counterpart and sleeps peacefully knowing that both AIPAC & ADL is keeping the Americans in check.

  5. joemowrey
    July 25, 2014, 7:40 pm

    Not ever, Just? I guess you must be excluding the actions of the US over the last 60 years or so. We are responsible for what some estimates say is more than a million deaths in Iraq alone. Not to mention the complete destruction of their infrastructure and political and social structure. In Vietnam, over 3 million were slaughtered. Israel will have to try much harder to even come close to the level of indiscriminate carnage and destruction old Uncle Sam is responsible for. But I guess Israel gets some extra points for the utter cruelty and sheer bloodlust of their “work” in Gaza. But than again, what about the Phoenix project in Vietnam?

    Once our empire (as MLK said, “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world…”) collapses, Israel will cease to exist. Let’s hope both events occur sooner rather than later. We have tens of generations of healing ahead of us yet before the horrors of these two monstrous nations are forgotten.

    • just
      July 25, 2014, 11:04 pm

      joemowery, I have been and am deeply ashamed of our terrible actions throughout my lifetime. I have protested and done what I can to stop our warmongering and a myriad of our other nastiness………I, unlike the average Israeli or Israel supporter, have no problem criticizing or blaming my own country when we are wrong.

      This is gargantuan in my opinion. It stands alone like an elephant in the room– our hypocrisy is legendary, and this one takes the cake! We are again financing & supporting the genocide of an innocent, indigenous people. We are complicit. If we withdrew even a soupçon of our support, this genocide would be halted.

      And no, I have never witnessed this scale of illegality and inhumanity by an “ally”. Ever.

  6. michelle
    July 25, 2014, 7:43 pm

    when i hear/read Israel did /said this/that
    my heart hears much of the world (mostly America) did/said this/that
    i don’t understand how this could be happening how is this allowed
    G-d Bless

  7. Boomer
    July 25, 2014, 7:56 pm

    Back in February, Amnesty International called on the US and EU to suspend arms shipments to Israel, based on its treatment of Palestinians then. I think it is is high time for Mr. Obama to do so. He has ample legal authority to do so (former President Carter has described how he effectively used a threat of such action). The only question is whether he has the will. Thus far, I have not seen any hint of that, but perhaps the images from Gaza will soften his heart, and stiffen his spine.

    • Kay24
      July 26, 2014, 7:56 am

      Obama’s hand are tied with the shackles made in Tel Aviv.

      We are being occupied by Israel. In our congress, the White House, the media, our think tanks, and corporations. Remember “we control America and they know it”?

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        July 26, 2014, 9:54 am

        Remember: a false quote.

      • Boomer
        July 26, 2014, 10:23 am

        Yes, Kay24, in practice what you say is true. Yet I know that Mr. Obama has ample power to rein in Israel, if he really wanted to. I don’t expect that he will, based on his track record, but he could if he wanted. He would pay a political price, but he will never run for reelection. I think most Americans would support his actions, if he spoke directly to the American public, using his demonstrated power of oratory to explain what Israel has done and continues to do with America’s support, and why humanity, justice, and our own self-interest require a change. Politicians may be sociopaths who don’t care about such matters, but most Americans are not. Israel-firsters would never forgive him, and some of them are billionaires, while others run vast media companies. So there would be a price, but a statesman would pay it.

      • joemowrey
        July 26, 2014, 3:03 pm

        I agree with your suggestion that we are being occupied by Israel. But Obama’s hands aren’t tied by anything more than his own lack of empathy. He has no other election to win, no social agenda to try to pass through Congress since his agenda is wholly corporate and wholly supported by our corporate Congress no matter what he does. He has no heart and he requires no spine because clearly he is a sociopath, just like every other US President. You don’t get to hold the office if you have a conscience. He has no problem untying his hands to unilaterally order drone strikes around the globe, killing innocent men women and children on a whim.

      • Peace2All
        July 27, 2014, 8:18 am

        except for jimmy carter in his twilight years he is trying to make amends

      • Peace2All
        July 27, 2014, 8:25 am

        Obama in his initial years tried but soon he remembered the wisdom of not going against the tide or wind ! The only 2 Presidents were JFK and Jimmy Carter …the latter tried harder after his term.

  8. Kay24
    July 25, 2014, 8:18 pm

    Dr. Saab Erakaet, on MSNBC, very passionate and emotional, about their plight, and he made one good point – he says he is for a 2 state solution, but he has yet to hear ONE Israeli official say that the Palestinian have the right to independence and also have their rights. So true. I have never heard the occupier ever mention that despite Hamas, the Palestinian people need to live in freedom too. This does how how insincere they are when they say they want peace. They are bull sheeters.

    • Peace2All
      July 27, 2014, 8:15 am

      sorry to disappoint you , israel wants one state i.e. israel ; all these years the Zionist is working hard to erase Palestine with their peace talks ploy.

  9. oldgeezer
    July 26, 2014, 2:46 am

    So the ceasefire is now in effect. Has anyone seen the ceasefire terms? I was surprised to see at jpost that the idf says it will continue to search for tunnels during the 12 hour break. AJ makes no mention of that.

    I find it hard to believe that Hamas would merely stand aside and let that activity go on uncontested.

    Just wondering… And as the sun begins to rise… I begin to nod off.

    • Peace2All
      July 27, 2014, 8:12 am

      guess when israel dictates ceasefire it will be their term and not Hamas. better still ask Hamas to show them the tunnels ; so how the israel PR is scoring points on main stream media like bbc cnn fox

  10. subconscious
    July 26, 2014, 3:56 am

    Hamas claims to have ambushed & killed 10 Israeli soldiers in Beit Hanoun:
    Could this be exacerbating Israel’s vengefulness in that area?
    And for something completely different, “Entire Gaza family [at least 20] killed prior to ceasefire, as death toll tops 906”:

    • Peace2All
      July 27, 2014, 8:09 am

      if israel wants a war with Hamas why kill babies children women and helpless old folks ?

  11. seafoid
    July 26, 2014, 5:44 am

    First few hours of humanitarian ceasefire and rescue workers have found the bodies of 60 civilians in the rubble of buildings bombed by Israel.
    Zionism is sadism. Hatikva the nightmare.

  12. seafoid
    July 26, 2014, 5:52 am

    Haaretz are featuring what Joan Rivers said about if nj was bombing gotham.
    Israel is so lost. Reminds me of Greece during the financial crisis. When the model is broken and the elites are exposed as know nothings.

  13. justicewillprevail
    July 26, 2014, 6:41 am

    Excellent post by Noura Erekat at The Nation, debunking the most often repeated Israeli talking points:

    An example:

    “As the occupying power of the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Territories more broadly, Israel has an obligation and a duty to protect the civilians under its occupation. It governs by military and law enforcement authority to maintain order, protect itself and protect the civilian population under its occupation. It cannot simultaneously occupy the territory, thus usurping the self-governing powers that would otherwise belong to Palestinians, and declare war upon them. These contradictory policies (occupying a land and then declaring war on it) make the Palestinian population doubly vulnerable.”

    • just
      July 26, 2014, 8:32 am

      “”These contradictory policies (occupying a land and then declaring war on it) make the Palestinian population doubly vulnerable.””

      And makes Israel doubly guilty of violations of international humanitarian law and the laws of war…and we say/do nothing.

      • Peace2All
        July 27, 2014, 8:06 am

        very true and sad. as long as U.S. keeps supporting such brutal regime the Palestinian will sufffer

  14. Peace2All
    July 27, 2014, 8:04 am

    very sad to read about death especially innocent children and hospital being bomb with total disregard for all those sick people ! no children women or old people should be killed

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