Israel army to extend attack on Gaza hospital

AFP , Ahram Online , Saturday 23 Mar 2024

A top Israeli commander has said troops will continue their attack on Gaza's largest hospital Al-Shifa under siege for the sixth consecutive day.

A picture shows smoke billowing after Israeli bombardment in the vicinity of the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on March 23, 2024. AFP


Israeli forces launched a military raid in and around Al-Shifa hospital on Monday, claiming senior Hamas operatives were based at the sprawling compound.

Israel says it has killed more than 170 people in its raids and attacks around the complex, with the Palestinian health ministry reporting that five patients have also have been killed.

"We are continuing with this operation," Southern Command chief Major General Yaron Finkelman said in comments released on Saturday.

In November, Israel propagated such claims about Al-Shifa, alleging that Hamas had established its headquarters beneath the hospital.

This led to heavy attacks and an invasion of the hospital by Israeli forces, and the evacuation of patients, including those in very critical conditions, and displaced Palestinians.

However, these claims were later found to be baseless.

Hamas denies any presence inside the facility.

The armed wing of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad said their fighters were engaged in battles with the Israeli forces around the vicinity of the hospital.

The hospital without essential supplies or health services, is under Israeli siege for the sixth consecutive day.

Sources reported that the Israeli army is detaining about 240 patients along with their caregivers, in addition to 10 healthcare workers inside the complex, under harsh conditions without water, food, or health services, WAFA news agency reported.

A large number of the wounded are facing dire conditions inside the complex and worms have begun to emerge from their wounds, added the sources.

Medical personnel and patients urgently appealed to all UN institutions and the international community to immediately intervene to save their lives.

Residents living nearby said Israeli forces blew up dozens of houses and apartments in the streets around the hospital and bulldozed roads. They said the nearby private Al-Helo Hospital was also hit by the army, Reuters reported.

The Gaza government media office said Israeli tanks hit several buildings at Al Shifa and set fire to a surgery department and that around 240 patients and their companions as well as dozens of healthcare staff had been detained.

Two days ago, 13 Patients were pronounced dead – at the hospital’s intensive care unit, as Israel deprived them of medicine, oxygen and food.

In a statement on Thursday, the local authorities said that “the Israeli army premeditatedly killed 13 patients by denying them medicine, saline, electricity and oxygen since it occupied the hospital for the fourth consecutive day.”

Israeli forces shot and killed Palestinian pharmacologist Mohammad Al-Nono outside Al Shifa hospital after they ordered him to evacuate, along with some colleagues, his family said.
Short link: