Israeli Forces Raid Gaza's Largest Hospital

World | February 15, 2024, Thursday // 18:02
Bulgaria: Israeli Forces Raid Gaza's Largest Hospital

Israeli forces have stormed Gaza's largest operational hospital, "Nasser," as confirmed by the Israeli Defense Forces. Video footage depicts scenes of chaos, with gunfire echoing through dark, dust-filled corridors. Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, an Israeli military spokesman, described the operation as "precise and limited," alleging that Hamas members were using the hospital as a base, potentially holding hostages. Hagari emphasized the IDF's commitment to ensuring the hospital could still treat patients and retrieve any hostages' bodies.

The Israeli military claims Hamas has used hospitals in Gaza for military purposes in the past, including Shifa Hospital and Rantisi Hospital. US intelligence also suspects Al Shifa Hospital serves as a command center for the group. Hamas denies these allegations, with Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Kidra accusing Israel of endangering patients' lives by forcing medical staff to evacuate the intensive care unit.

Reports suggest Israel compelled displaced persons and medical staff families to seek shelter at Nasser Hospital, with around 2,000 people arriving overnight. Some sought refuge in Rafah, while others moved to Deir al-Balah. Videos emerged showing Palestinians leaving the hospital complex, with the UN humanitarian agency reporting Israeli forces besieging the facility and firing at it with a sniper.

The destruction of medical facilities in Gaza raises concerns, as the attacks often occur close to hospitals, endangering patients and medical staff. Israel contends that Hamas routinely exploits hospitals and ambulances for military purposes, detaining suspects and conducting ongoing operations at An Nasser Hospital.

Reuters verified the authenticity of videos capturing the chaos at An Nasser Hospital, where men navigate debris-strewn corridors amidst gunfire. The World Health Organization reported that half the hospital's medical staff had fled, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.

In response to international pressure urging restraint, Israel faces scrutiny over its military campaign in Gaza, particularly its focus on Rafah. The situation remains tense as civilians seek safety amidst escalating violence.

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Tags: hospital, Gaza, Israeli, conflict

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