Injured Palestinians, including children, are taken to the Al-Shifa Hospital

Injured Palestinians, including children, are taken to the Al-Shifa Hospital following the Israeli attacks on the Nasirat Refugee Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on November 3, 2023.

(Photo: Doaa Albaz/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Gaza Death Toll Continues to Rise as US Refuses Global Call for Cease-Fire

Thousands of Americans are expected to march in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, demanding the Biden administration join the call for peace.

In just 27 days, the Israel Defense Forces have killed at least 9,227 Palestinians in Gaza as of Friday, and the death toll is expected to continue rising absent calls from the U.S. government and other Western countries for a cease-fire.

While continuing to claim it is targeting Hamas fighters in Gaza, Israel attacked an ambulance convoy near al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City late Friday, killing at least 13 people and injuring dozens of others.

Israel claimed that "a Hamas terrorist cell" was using one of the ambulances. Dr. Mohammad Abu Salmiya, the head of the hospital, toldThe New York Times that the convoy had been preparing to take people wounded by Israel's repeated airstrikes to Egypt for treatment.

Like the rest of Gaza's health system, al-Shifa Hospital is running low on supplies and medications following Israel's total blockade of the enclave last month, cutting off access to fuel, electricity, food, and water—putting civilians at risk of infections and disease as well as Israel's bombardment and ground attacks.

Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesperson for the Gaza Health Ministry, told Al Jazeera that the attack was "a massacre against more victims, civilians, and wounded people" and called on the international community to "stop those massacres that are committed against our people and our paramedics and our injured and our victims."

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, demanded an immediate cease-fire and said he was "utterly shocked" by the targeting of ambulances.

While international human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Oxfam, Jewish-led groups including IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, and U.S.-based humanitarian groups such as the Carter Center have joined the call for a cease-fire, the Biden administration so far has called only for a "humanitarian pause" in the fighting.

The administration has requested $14.3 billion in aid for Israel and has already committed to sending weapons for the IDF to use in Gaza.

Led largely by IfNotNow and JVP, thousands of Americans in recent days have risked arrest as they've gathered in public settings including New York's Grand Central Station and Phildelphia's 30th Street Station to demand a cease-fire.

On Friday, advocates assembled in the offices of Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and others, carrying signs that read, "Stop Arming Israel" and "Cease-Fire Now."

On Saturday, thousands of people are expected to march in Washington, D.C. demanding the same.

Several senators called for a "cessation of hostilities" on Thursday, while Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) became the first senator to call for a cease-fire.

On Thursday, CNNreported that some close advisers to Biden believe "rebuffing the pressure on the U.S. government to publicly call for a cease-fire" may become "untenable" in a matter of "weeks, not months."

"'Weeks' means thousands of Palestinian children who are alive now will be dead," said political analyst Omar Baddar, urging Americans who support a cease-fire—two-thirds of the population, according to one poll—to ramp up the pressure.

"This needs to stop NOW!" said Baddar. "You need to call your members of Congress and the White House NOW!"

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