Israeli forces pressed their offensive in opposition to Hamas in northern Gaza on November 20, battling militants round a hospital the place hundreds of sufferers and displaced folks have been sheltering for weeks, elevating Palestinian fears of one other painful standoff and evacuation of a medical facility.
A shell struck the second flooring of the Indonesian Hospital, killing not less than 12 folks, in keeping with a medical employee inside the power and the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza. Both blamed Israeli forces. There was no quick remark from the Israeli army.
The advance got here a day after the World Health Organization evacuated 31 untimely infants from Shifa Hospital. At least 28 had been transported to Egypt on November 20. More than 250 critically ailing or wounded sufferers stay stranded on the compound that Israeli forces stormed days in the past.
The plight of Gaza’s hospitals is the main focus of a battle of narratives over the struggle’s brutal toll on Palestinian civilians, hundreds of whom have been killed or buried in rubble for the reason that battle was sparked by Hamas’ October 7 rampage into southern Israel. In the wake of the assault, Israeli leaders vowed to eradicate Hamas, destroy its capability to rule Gaza and uproot its militant infrastructure.
Israel says Hamas makes use of civilians as human shields and operated a serious command hub inside and beneath Shifa. Critics say Israel’s siege and relentless aerial bombardment quantity to collective punishment of the territory’s 2.3 million Palestinians.
Marwan Abdallah, the medical employee on the Indonesian Hospital, stated Israeli tanks had been working lower than 200 meters (yards) from the hospital, and that Israeli snipers might be seen on the roofs of close by buildings. As he spoke over the telephone, the sound of gunfire might be heard within the background.
Mr. Abdallah stated the hospital had obtained dozens of useless and wounded in airstrikes and shelling in a single day.
Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra, who’s now based mostly in southern Gaza, stated some 600 sufferers, 200 well being care employees and a couple of,000 displaced persons are sheltering there. “The occupation aims to evacuate the hospital, as it did in Shifa,” he said.
In a separate development that could relieve some of the pressure on Gaza’s collapsing health system, dozens of trucks entered the territory from Egypt on Monday with equipment from Jordan to set up a field hospital. Jordan’s state-run media said the hospital in the southern town of Khan Younis would be up and running within 48 hours.
Babies evacuated from Gaza’s embattled Shifa hospital arrived in Egypt, according to the country’s state-run media, after the Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said it was transporting 28 premature babies across the border. It was not immediately clear where the other three babies who were evacuated from Shifa were.
Following that evacuation, over 250 patients with severely infected wounds and other urgent conditions remain in Shifa, which can no longer provide most treatment after it ran out of water, medical supplies and fuel for emergency generators.
Israeli forces battled Palestinian militants outside its gates for days before entering the facility on Wednesday. Four babies died in the two days before the evacuation, according to Mohamed Zaqout, the director of Gaza hospitals.
Israel’s army said it has evidence supporting its claims that Hamas maintained a sprawling command post inside and under the hospital’s 20-acre (8-hectare) complex, which includes several buildings.
On November 19, the military released a video showing what it said was a tunnel discovered at the hospital, 55 meters (60 yards) long and about 10 meters (33 feet) below ground. It said the tunnel included a hole for gunmen to fire out of, and ended at a blast-proof door that troops have not yet opened.
Israeli forces also released security camera video showing what they said were two foreign hostages, one Thai and one Nepalese, who were captured by Hamas in the Oct. 7 attack and taken to the hospital. Hamas said its fighters brought them in for medical care.
The Army also said an investigation had determined that Israeli army Cpl. Noa Marciano, another captive whose body was recovered in Gaza, had been wounded in an Israeli strike on Nov. 9 that killed her captor, but was then killed by a Hamas militant in Shifa.
The military has previously released images of several guns it said were found inside an MRI lab and said that the bodies of two hostages were found near the complex.
The Associated Press was not able to independently confirm the military’s findings.
Hamas and hospital staff have denied the allegations of a command post under Shifa. Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan dismissed the latest announcement, saying “the Israelis said there was a command and control center, which means that the matter is greater than just a tunnel.”
Israel has repeatedly ordered Palestinians to go away northern Gaza and search refuge within the south, which has additionally been below aerial bombardment for the reason that begin of the struggle. Some 1.7 million folks, almost three quarters of Gaza’s inhabitants, have been displaced, with 900,000 packing into crowded U.N.-run shelters, in keeping with the U.N.
International help group Doctors Without Borders stated 70 folks had been killed and not less than 52 wounded, together with youngsters, in strikes within the southern city of Khan Younis on Saturday. It stated it was performing 10 burn surgical procedures a day on the city’s overwhelmed Nasser Hospital, the place tons of of individuals want such operations.
More than 12,700 Palestinians, together with greater than 5,000 minors, have been killed in Gaza, in keeping with the Palestinian Health Ministry within the West Bank, which coordinates with officers within the Health Ministry of Hamas-run Gaza. Officials there say one other 4,000 are lacking and believed buried in rubble. The rely doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants. Israel says it has killed hundreds of militants.
Violence has additionally surged within the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the place assaults by Jewish settlers are on the rise and the place greater than 200 Palestinians have been killed for the reason that begin of the struggle, largely in gunbattles triggered by Israeli army raids.
About 1,200 folks have been killed on the Israeli aspect, primarily civilians throughout the Oct. 7 assault, by which Hamas dragged some 240 captives again into Gaza. The army says 66 Israeli troopers have been killed in Gaza floor operations.
Hamas has launched 4 hostages, Israel has rescued one, and the our bodies of two had been discovered close to Shifa.
Israel, the United States and Qatar, which mediates with Hamas, have been negotiating a hostage launch for weeks. Israel’s three-member struggle Cabinet is to satisfy with representatives of the hostages’ households on Monday night.