The Israeli military said that in its strikes on Jabaliya, it had been targeting Hamas commanders who played key roles in the attacks on Oct. 7, which Israeli officials said killed more than 1,400 people. The military also said that Hamas had an extensive tunnel network in Jabaliya.
On Wednesday, Dr. Abu Safyia said, he was working with a colleague in the hospital’s neonatal intensive-care unit — one of two units that still had power amid a severe fuel shortage — when casualties from Jabaliya started arriving.
When they rushed down to the emergency room to help, he said, his colleague was stunned to see that two of her own children were among the dead. Her 9-year-old and 7-year-old had been killed in their home, he said, along with several of her siblings and relatives.
“We are working at a place where at any moment we expect our children, spouses, siblings or friends to come in in pieces,” he said.
Some children could not be identified because of the severity of their injuries, he said. The hospital’s morgue was so full that people were stacking bodies on top of one another.
“We wish for death,” said Dr. Abu Safyia. “It is easier than seeing the horrific scenes were witnessing.”
He later added: “Live images are being broadcast to the whole world of people blown up into pieces, of women and children who are being murdered, for what? What did they do wrong?”
The hospital, which is in the city of Beit Lahia, just north of Jabaliya, was running extremely low on medical supplies, like all others in the Gaza Strip, he said. With no anesthesia, doctors were operating on people with severe injuries using over-the-counter painkillers like paracetamol to help ease the pain. They had a limited supply of antibiotics and were using vinegar and chlorine to disinfect wounds, the doctor added.
“The children’s screams during surgeries can be heard from outside,” Dr. Abu Safyia said. “We are operating on people’s skulls without anesthesia.”