Incident at Shifa Medical Complex: Israeli Army Operation Unfolds

2024-03-18 15:43:05

Dozens of tanks and personnel carriers surround the hospital

Bombing and shooting operations were recorded at dawn today (Monday), in the vicinity and on the outskirts of the Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City, according to what witnesses and Palestinian sources reported, following the Israeli army announced that it was carrying out an operation in the largest hospital in the Strip, according to what was reported by “Agence France-Presse.” ».

This is the second time since the outbreak of the war in Gaza once morest the Hamas movement that the Israeli army has carried out an operation in this hospital. The Hebrew state has previously accused Hamas of using medical facilities as a cover for its operations, which the movement denies.

The army announced that it was carrying out an operation in the hospital area in the northern Gaza Strip, while witnesses at the scene told the agency that they heard the sound of bombing.

The army indicated in its statement that soldiers “are currently carrying out a precise operation in the area of ​​Al-Shifa Hospital,” adding that “the operation is based on information indicating that the hospital is being used by senior Hamas officials.”

The army indicated that during the operation, which was carried out in cooperation with the Shin Bet, the forces were exposed to “fire by saboteurs from inside the Shifa Medical Complex, where the forces responded with fire and wounded them,” stressing the continuation of work “inside the Shifa Hospital area.”

“Fire intensity»

The Hamas Ministry of Health spoke of “a fire breaking out at the gate of the Al-Shifa Medical Complex and the presence of cases of suffocation among displaced women and children in the hospital,” confirming that “a number of martyrs and wounded fell, with the inability to save any of the injured due to the intensity of the fire and the targeting of anyone who approached.” Windows in another crime once morest health institutions.

On the ground, eyewitnesses told the agency regarding “air operations” taking place in the Al-Rimal neighborhood, where the hospital is located.

Residents of this neighborhood said that “more than 45 Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers” entered the sand. Some also spoke of “battles” around the hospital.

Eyewitnesses in Gaza City reported that they saw tanks surrounding the hospital site.

The Hamas government’s media office in Gaza condemned the operation, saying, “Racing into the Shifa Medical Complex with tanks, drones, and weapons, and shooting inside it, is a war crime.”

He said that the hospital was being “bombed,” noting that “tens of thousands of displaced people” were present throughout the medical complex.

The army addresses residents via loudspeakers, asking them to stay in their homes.

The army statement explained that the Israeli forces received “instructions regarding the importance of working with caution, in addition to the measures that must be taken to avoid injuring patients, civilians, and medical staff.”

He added that “people who speak Arabic were brought to the site to facilitate communication with patients,” noting that “patients and medical staff are not obligated to evacuate.”

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The army published what it said was an excerpt of a call between the commander of the Coordination and Liaison Directorate and an official in the Ministry of Health in Gaza, in which the Israeli official confirmed monitoring “military activities in hospitals… and we warned regarding them in the past.”

On Monday, Palestinian factions denied using hospitals for military purposes. She said in a statement: “We confirm that the occupation’s narratives and false claims are false. Hospitals are civilian health institutions that have not carried out any activities that conflict with their function and tasks specified in accordance with international and humanitarian law.”

She considered that “targeting hospitals is a continuation of the war of genocide waged by the occupation once morest the Palestinian people,” and its goal is “not to provide any opportunity for the wounded and sick to survive and be treated.”

The Israeli army entered this hospital on November 15, and the facility is currently operating at its bare minimum and with a minimum number of employees.

After that operation, the army said that it found “ammunition, weapons, and military equipment” for the movement in Al-Shifa Hospital, which Hamas denied.

The Israeli army also stated that it had discovered a 55-meter-long tunnel that it said was being used for “terrorist purposes” under Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, calling on journalists to inspect it.

Since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas, the army has launched operations in several hospitals in the Palestinian Strip.

The United Nations says that less than a third of the hospitals in the Gaza Strip are currently functioning, and only partially, and that 155 health facilities in the Gaza Strip have been damaged since the start of the war on October 7.

More than five months following the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, the death toll continues to rise in the Palestinian Strip, which is threatened by famine, with 31,645 people killed, according to the Ministry of Health.

Most of those displaced by the war, numbering 1.7 million people according to the United Nations, took refuge in the city of Rafah, located on the closed Egyptian border, which is subjected to daily Israeli bombing.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed his determination to invade Rafah, which he sees as the movement’s last “stronghold.”

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