- Officials say missiles fired at Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital courtyard
- The Israeli strikes were also blamed for damaging the Indonesian hospital.
Israeli airstrikes yesterday hit three hospitals and a school in Gaza, killing at least 22 people, according to Palestinian officials.
Tanks surrounded hospitals as the battle against Hamas moved into the heart of its stronghold in Gaza City.
Hamas-led government officials said missiles were fired into the courtyard of Gaza’s largest hospital, Al-Shifa, early in the morning, and more attacks took place later.
The director of Al-Shifa Hospital, Mohammad Abu Selmeyah, said that “Israeli tanks fired on Al-Shifa Hospital”, while the Israeli army had no immediate comment .
The Israeli strikes were also blamed for damaging the Indonesian hospital and burning down the Nasser Rantissi Pediatric Cancer Hospital. There were reports of water and electricity outages.
The hospitals are in northern Gaza, where Israel says Hamas militants who attacked it last month are concentrated and overflowing with displaced people as well as patients and doctors.
Israel says Hamas uses them as human shields and has major command centers under some buildings.
Israeli tanks, which have been advancing in northern Gaza for almost two weeks, took up positions last night around the Nasser Rantissi hospitals, children’s and eye hospitals as well as Al-Quds hospital, medical staff said.
Military experts estimate that Israeli armored forces in Gaza are now the largest since the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israel seized the territory from Egypt.
“Israel is now launching a war against hospitals in Gaza City,” Mr. Selmeyah said.
Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said Israel had bombed the Al-Shifa hospital buildings five times. “One Palestinian was killed and several were injured in the morning attack,” he said by telephone.
Graphic videos circulating on social media yesterday appeared to show scenes of panic and people covered in blood.
Mr. Selmeyah later said that at least 20 people were killed in Israeli strikes on the Al-Buraq school in Gaza City, where residents whose homes were destroyed were seeking refuge.
The Palestinian Red Cross said Israeli snipers were firing at Al-Quds hospital and there were violent clashes, leaving one person killed and 28 injured, most of them children.
“Fierce clashes are currently occurring and (Israeli) occupation snipers are firing on Al-Quds hospital, causing casualties among displaced Palestinians sheltering in the facility,” it said. the medical organization.
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied this information. He claims that he does not target his attacks against civilians and tries to protect them, but that Hamas militants have hidden command centers and tunnels under Al-Shifa and other hospitals.
An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson said: “While the world sees neighborhoods with schools, hospitals, scout groups, children’s playgrounds and mosques, Hamas sees them an opportunity to exploit. »
Hamas denies this assertion.
Video from Al-Shifa Court recorded the sound of a fire waking people in makeshift shelters, followed by screams for an ambulance. In the blood-splattered courtyard, a man was writhing and screaming on the ground, his leg apparently severed. The Israeli military said it “cannot discuss potential locations related to our operations” because doing so could “compromise troops.”
Israel launched its Gaza offensive in retaliation after Hamas fighters crossed the border on October 7, killing more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 240 hostages. Vowing to destroy Hamas, Israel responded with a campaign of aerial and ground bombings that, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, killed more than 11,000 people, mostly civilians and many children.
Last night there were unconfirmed reports of a hostage exchange deal between Israel and Hamas, but the Israeli government refused to comment. The Saudi newspaper Al-Arabiya claimed that a deal had been negotiated to release Palestinian female prisoners and children held in Israeli jails in exchange for 100 women and children of the approximately 240 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.
This assertion, which prompted no comment from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, raised tentative hopes for the return of some of the hostages captured by Hamas terrorists to Israel on October 7.
Israelis were shocked to see two of the hostages, a 77-year-old woman and a 13-year-old boy, paraded in front of video cameras on Thursday by their captors, Hamas’ terrorist ally Islamic Jihad.
Even more shocking were the contrasting photos released of the young boy, Yagel Yaacov, showing his dramatic deterioration over the past month, presumably without having seen the light of day as the hostages are believed to be held in the “Gaza Metro”, said the Hamas tunnel system. extend 300 miles under Gaza.
In the previous photo, the boy is smiling and looking lively, but as a captive, his pale skin and dark circles under his eyes tell a very different story.