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'It was like a nightmare': Gaza nurse on evacuating Al-Shifa Hospital

A displaced nurse in Gaza spoke about her harrowing ordeal of being stranded inside Al-Shifa Hospital.
Posted at 6:29 PM, Dec 07, 2023

Since the beginning of the war, Rajaa Musleh has lost her home, her brother and her brother-in-law.

But she hasn't lost her job as Gaza's country director for MedGlobal, an international NGO, even though she has been displaced time and again.

After her house in Gaza City was bombed in October, she took shelter with thousands of others at Al-Shifa hospital — first outside the hospital, and then, when Israeli forces surrounded it, inside the operating room.

"It was like a nightmare. I see children without legs, without arms," Musleh recalled in voice messages she sent to Scripps News.

Musleh, who's also a trained nurse, says one night she tried to comfort a young dying girl. "She asked me, 'Do you see me?' I said yes, 'I see you.' She said, 'I cannot see you.' She became blind because of the fire. I stayed beside her bed until 4 a.m. and after that — unfortunately, she passed away."

Ultimately, following orders from Israel, Musleh evacuated on foot to a displaced persons camp in Al-Mawasi in southern Gaza, about 16 miles away. She walked for about six hours, she says. Nearby, in Khan Younis, Gaza's largest southern city, she recently helped set up, for MedGlobal, a new and much-needed medical station. But Khan Younis has now become the site of fierce fighting between Hamas and Israel. And Musleh wonders: How long can she survive? And if she does, how many times will she be displaced again?

"It is very miserable, very difficult. And I hope this finishes soon," she says.

IDF releases video indicating Hamas built tunnels under hospital
A bulletproof vest with a Hamas insignia that was reportedly found along with weapons inside a hospital.

IDF releases video indicating Hamas built tunnels under hospital

Video of the purported tunnels was released as Israel said it found the bodies of two hostages at the complex of a Gaza hospital.