Israeli army storms Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City again

Ahram Online , Monday 18 Mar 2024

Israeli forces have launched another raid on the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, with witnesses reporting air strikes on the devastated neighborhood where it is located.

Palestinians identify a relative killed in Israeli bombardment in front of the morgue of the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on March 15, 2024 AFP


Israel's military on Monday called on Gazans to evacuate the area in and around the territory's largest hospital as battles raged at the complex crowded with patients and displaced people.

"To maintain your security, you must immediately evacuate the area," army spokesman Avichay Adraee said on social media platform X, instructing "all those present" to head west and then south to a "humanitarian area".

The Palestinian Health Ministry said that the army attacked the hospital early Monday, directing gun and missile fire at a building used for specialized surgeries. It says a fire broke out at the hospital’s gate.

The ministry said around 30,000 people are sheltering at the hospital, including patients, medical staff, and people who have fled their homes seeking safety.

It added that it had received calls from people near the hospital site who claimed there were dozens of casualties.

"No one could transport them to the hospital due to the intensity of gunfire and artillery shelling," the ministry said.

Witnesses in Gaza City told AFP they saw tanks surround the hospital site.

The government media office in Gaza condemned the operation, saying that "the storming of the Al-Shifa Medical Complex with tanks, drones, and weapons, and shooting inside it, is a war crime".

The army raided and ransacked Al-Shifa, the largest medical facility in the Gaza Strip, in November under the pretence of searching for Hamas "Command and Control" tunnel under the site.

Most of Gaza’s medical facilities have been forced to shut down for lack of fuel and medical supplies, even as scores of people are killed and wounded each day in Israeli strikes.

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