Israeli army storms Nasser Hospital after killing a patient and injuring six others

AP , Thursday 15 Feb 2024

Israeli forces stormed the Nasser Hospital, the main hospital in southern Gaza , on Thursday, hours after Israeli fire killed a patient and wounded six others inside the complex.

Gaza
File Photo- A man inspects the damage in a room following Israeli bombardment at Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on December 17, 2023. AFP

 

Palestinian Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra said Israel had launched a “massive incursion” with heavy shooting that wounded displaced people still sheltering there. He said the military had ordered medics to move all patients into an older building that was not properly equipped for their treatment.

“Many cannot evacuate, such as those with lower limb amputations, severe burns, or the elderly,” he said in an interview with the Al Jazeera network.

The raid came a day after the army sought to evacuate thousands of displaced people who had taken shelter at the hospital.

Nasser Hospital in the city of Khan Younishas been the latest focus of operations that have gutted Gaza’s health sector as it struggles to treat scores of patients wounded in daily bombardments.

Video of the aftermath of astrike overnight showed medics scrambling to wheel patients on stretchers through a corridor filled with smoke or dust. A medic used a cellphone flashlight to illuminate a darkened room where a wounded man screamed out in pain as gunfire echoed outside.

Dr. Khaled Alserr, one of the remaining surgeons at Nasser Hospital, told the AP that the seven patients hit early Thursday were already being treated for past wounds.

“The situation is escalating every hour and every minute,” he said.

The Israeli military had ordered the evacuation of Nasser Hospital and surrounding areas last month. But as with other health facilities, medics said patients were unable to safely leave or be relocated, and thousands of people displaced by fighting elsewhere remained there.

“People have been forced into an impossible situation," said Lisa Macheiner of the aid group Doctors Without Borders, which has staff in the hospital.

"Stay at Nasser Hospital against the Israeli military’s orders and become a potential target, or exit the compound into an apocalyptic landscape where bombings and evacuation orders are a part of daily life.”

The Israeli army claimed it was a limited operation seeking the remains of captives taken by Hamas.

It said it had "credible intelligence” that Hamas had held hostages at the hospital and that the remains of captives might still be inside. Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the chief military spokesperson, said forces were conducting a “precise and limited” operation there and would not forcibly evacuate medics or patients.

 

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