News Release

Pediatric Cancer Hospital Evacuated in Gaza


Israel told people inside Gaza’s al-Rantisi Children’s Hospital to evacuate. On November 10, patients and staff at the hospital evacuated, waving white flags in the streets. 

STEVE SOSEBEE;, @Stevesosebee 
    Sosebee is the president and founder of the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF). 

PCRF opened Gaza’s first and only pediatric cancer hospital, al-Rantisi, in 2019. Before that, children with cancer had to leave the Gaza Strip for treatment. Sosebee told the Institute for Public Accuracy that since October 7, the hospital has been “providing food, water, and ongoing medical support [to patients]. The hospital has been overrun with thousands of internally displaced people while continuing cancer treatments for patients. PCRF has also been working on obtaining accurate information about how to get humanitarian aid and supplies into Gaza. We are also getting kids out for medical care. We have transferred 13 children out. They are mostly in Egypt now.

“As of [November 10], the hospital has been evacuated. It was hit in an Israeli airstrike three days ago. Now children in wheelchairs are waving white flags under the nose of Israeli tanks. We’re not sure where those patients and staff are at the moment. There have been threats over the past 4-5 days [that they would need to be evaucuated], but we were hoping that common sense would prevail. It’s a hospital full of kids: cancer patients and kids in the ICU and kids with cystic fibrosis and kids on dialysis. But at a press conference last night, the [hospital] director was saying we needed to leave. 

“Before that, communication was difficult. We lost complete contact a few times. [When signal returned], we would hear the horror stories and the fear that everyone had. Now it’s not a question of communication being cut. These are kids with cancer. They’re starting to relapse and fall out of remission. These are diseases with 95 percent cure rates with proper treatment, but they’re a death sentence without proper treatment. These patients need to go to a facility where specialized care is available to them––and that facility has been destroyed. We don’t know if the physical structure is still standing. 

“According to the Israeli army, hospitals are legitimate military targets. The [Gazan] health sector has completely collapsed. Thousands of innocent children––on ventilators, on dialysis, with cancer, with heart conditions, amputees with trauma injuries, and hundreds [of kids] in the burn department––are not getting care anymore. That should be on the conscience of the entire world. It’s not only relentless bombing taking place; it’s that hospitals are being targeted and patients are being denied treatment. Doctors are being killed or sent into streets, and the institutions they’ve worked in in the last years and month are being damaged, destroyed, or depopulated. The lives of these Palestinian children seem to mean nothing to the world.”