The Gaza Strip’s most critical health center is under attack: The U.N. and Hamas declare a cease-fire despite the UN humanitarian assessment
According to the World Health Organization, the corridors of the largest hospital in Gaza are crammed with medical and solid waste. And at least 80 bodies lie in a mass grave by the hospital’s entrance.
The UN humanitarian assessment team, led by the WHO, were the first to get into the hospital Saturday, seeing the dire condition of the facility. The team was only able to see the hospital for one hour.
In that time, they found that several patients have died in the previous two to three days due to medical services shutting down in the facility, according to the WHO. And now there are just 25 health workers for the 291 remaining patients, including 32 premature babies in “extremely critical condition.”
The IDF evacuated the last 2,500 people from the hospital’s grounds on Saturday. Those civilians, along with some patients and hospital staff, had been evacuated by the military by the time the U.N. team arrived for their visit, the WHO said.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been told to leave by the Israeli military. Evidence shows that Israeli warplanes and guns are bombarding the areas Israel has said are safer for civilians. Those attacks have hit schools, residential towers and overcrowded U.N. shelters.
As a result of the attacks in Israel, more than 200 people were kidnapped. Negotiations on a cease-fire that would allow people in Gaza to move about safe and for hostages to be handed over back to Israel are still going on.
The White House national security council spokesman denied a Washington Post report that a deal had been made between the US, Israel and Hamas.
Hamas, Jordan, and the Palestinian Red Crescent: Negotiations in the Gazan-Hamas-Rafah Conflict
The Palestinian Red Crescent said the infants — part of a group of 31 evacuated from Al-Shifa earlier — had been brought to the Emirati Hospital in Rafah City in southern Gaza before crossing into Egypt. Dr. Mohammed Salamah at Emirati told NPR that three of the newborns were determined to be in stable condition and did not need to be transferred.
The hostage-release deal under discussion could come in exchange for the freedom of scores of Palestinian prisoners and a temporary pause in hostilities in the ongoing war that has killed some 1,200 Israelis and nearly 13,000 Gazans, according to Palestinian officials.
The prime minister of qatar called the remaining obstacles to a hostage deal minor. The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said at a joint news conference in Doha on Sunday that the sticking points were more logistical and practical.
U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer, speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press, also sounded cautiously optimistic, saying the sides were “closer than we have been” to a deal and that the “gaps have narrowed.” Finer said that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”
Israeli media reports said that there could be an exchange of between 50 and 100 women and children held on both sides in addition to a pause in the fighting.
The deal must first be greenlit by Israel’s cabinet in order to be finalized, according to an Israeli newspaper.
At least a dozen people died at a hospital in northern Gaza on Monday, the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry said. NPR was unable to independently verify the casualties at the Indonesian Hospital.
The Israeli army said it had taken gunfire from within the building. The statement sent to NPR stated that no shells were fired towards the hospital, but that infantry troops targeted the specific source of enemy fire.
Israel, which says hospitals in Gaza are being used as covert Hamas command posts, has faced intense international criticism for military strikes on medical facilities there.
Jordan says it is sending a field hospital to Gaza to replace those damaged or destroyed by Israeli airstrikes. Palestinian officials said it would be the first field hospital to arrive since the beginning of the war began last month.
On Sunday, the UN Secretary-General said he was shocked by Saturday’s killings at two schools run by the U.N. refugee agency. At least one of the schools was being used as a shelter by civilians in Gaza, the U.N. says.
Up First Briefing: Remembering Rosalynn Carter; Sam Altman heads to Microsoft (with an appendix by Jayeev Osinio)
Thank you for your good morning. You’re reading the Up First newsletter. Subscribe here to get it delivered to your inbox, and listen to the Up First podcast for all the news you need to start your day.
Former first lady Rosalynn Carter died yesterday at her home in Plains, Georgia. She was 96 years old. Carter was a humanitarian and a mental health advocate for a long time. Former president Jimmy Carter is 99 years old and has been in hospice care since February.
Argentina’s next president is an ultra-conservative economist named Javier Milei. The far-right populist beat Argentina’s economy minister Sergio Massa in a runoff election. Milei’s style has drawn comparisons to former U.S. president Donald Trump.
Source: Up First briefing: Remembering Rosalynn Carter; [Sam Altman heads to Microsoft](https://lostobject.org/2023/11/20/the-first-briefings-were-rememberingrosalyn-carter-and-sam-altman-heading-to-microsoft/)
OpenAI Art Director Ziva Jelin and the Israel Museum (NPR): The Birth of Leena and Bayan, the First Twins
OpenAI co-founder and the influential creator of ChatGPT Sam Altman will lead a new artificial intelligence team at Microsoft. The board of directors at OpenAI decided to oust Altman from his position due to disagreements over how to balance safety with the release of new tools.
Billy Porter is the first openly gay black man to win an award. He has a lot of Tonys under his belt. But when he first came to prominence in 1992, Porter says he was told his queerness was a liability. Now, the artist is singing on his own terms for his newest album, Black Mona Lisa.
Ziva Jelin was residing in Kibbutz Be’eri when Hamas launched their attack on Israel. When her family was rescued and evacuated to a hotel at the Dead Sea, her artwork wasn’t a priority. The Israel Museum in Jerusalem is displaying her work, which takes on new meaning.
NPR counted only four parents, including Al-Banna — all mothers, no fathers — accompanying the convoy of 28 infant evacuees Monday. Poor communications in Gaza make it hard for medics to communicate with the babies’ parents.
Twin girls were named Leen and Bayan after Al-Banna’s first children. They needed some extra care when they were born. So they were transferred to Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital, a modern facility with a fleet of incubators for newborns.
Margaret Harris says “They were not taken out too soon.” It was difficult for the staff to provide adequate nutrition and keep them warm. None of the babies had parents with them, so they didn’t have access to any breast milk.”
It wasn’t safe for Al-Banna and her husband to visit. They were able to call the nurses and check on their daughter’s status at first. But then 4G, phones and internet went down. The hospital ran out of fuel because of the Israeli blockade.