Chicago Ridge-based MedGlobal loses communication with staff in Gaza amid reported hospital attacks

ByRob Hughes WLS logo
Sunday, November 12, 2023
South suburban-based MedGlobal loses communication with staff in Gaza
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Chicago Ridge-based MedGlobal said it has lost communication with staff in Gaza amid reported attacks on Al Shifa Hospital.

CHICAGO RIDGE, Ill. (WLS) -- Arab leaders met in Saudi Arabia, calling for an immediate end to military operations in Gaza, saying Israel bears responsibility for crimes against Palestinians.

Several hospitals in Gaza are reportedly under relentless bombardment, including the main medical center, Al Shifa Hospital.

The humanitarian organization MedGlobal is headquartered in Chicago Ridge and has staff in northern Gaza right now.

Dr. Thaer Ahman is a board member for MedGlobal. He says in the last 24 hours, they have lost communication with staff in Gaza, including a pediatrician, a nurse and procurement director.

"They're reporting that they're not even able to get to the gates of the hospital, because they come under fire from snipers as well as the fact that there are drones overhead and airstrikes near the vicinity," Ahman said.

Ahman says his colleagues were told there are moments each day when the Israeli forces will allow people to go south, but he says it's not possible for frontline health workers or patients of the hospitals.

He says Al Shifa Hospital, the major trauma center in Gaza, lost its backup generator, meaning no power.

"What we heard from the director, just today, was that there were 40 premature babies in the NICU who were on ventilators, who no longer have ventilators, so they are having people physically pump air so that these babies can breathe," Ahman said.

Meanwhile, Israel has portrayed Al Shifa Hospital as the main command post for Hamas.

"They have positioned all of their capabilities in, around, and beneath hospitals," said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.

Israel said militants were using civilians as human shields and had set up elaborate bunkers underneath the hospital. Both Hamas and Al Shifa staff have denied those claims.

On Saturday, IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said there is no siege on Shifa hospital

"There is no siege. I repeat, there is no siege on the Shifa hospital. The east side of the hospital is open on Elwadi Street for the safe pass of Gazans who wish to leave the hospital," Hagari said.