In the nocturnal hours of Tuesday, Israeli special forces, supported by additional troops, undertook a meticulously planned and targeted operation within Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital. The mission, extending into the morning, yielded the discovery of weaponry and Hamas assets on the premises. A skirmish outside the hospital resulted in the demise of at least five Hamas gunmen, while no harm befell the Israeli soldiers.
An undisclosed high-ranking military official later affirmed the unearthing of “concrete evidence” substantiating Hamas’s exploitation of the hospital for military purposes. The IDF vowed to disclose pertinent findings. Notably, there was no reported discord between the troops and the hospital’s patients or medical staff. IDF tanks transported incubators, baby food, and medical provisions from Israel to Shifa, emphasizing the presence of medical teams and Arabic-speaking soldiers to facilitate the distribution of supplies and safeguard civilians.
The military’s call for the surrender of Hamas terrorists within the hospital was pronounced. While the IDF did not corroborate reports of gunfire inside the hospital, the BBC, referencing a local journalist named Khader, asserted a lack of shooting and described soldiers questioning individuals room by room, accompanied by medics and Arabic speakers. Khader reported that IDF soldiers instructed men aged 16 to 40, excluding specific hospital sections, to gather in the courtyard. Gunfire was allegedly employed to enforce compliance, and a scanning device was purportedly installed.
The IDF contended that Shifa Hospital harbors Hamas’s subterranean command center, alleging the facility’s use as a cover. Conditions within the hospital were described as dire by witnesses, detailing medical procedures without anesthesia, families enduring scarcity of food and water in corridors, and the pervasive odor of decomposing bodies.
Emphasizing a focused operation within a defined area, the IDF refuted claims of overrunning the hospital. The belief that hostages were previously housed there led to the hope that the operation might yield intelligence on captives.
Expressing dismay, the United Nations criticized the IDF’s actions, prioritizing the protection of civilians, patients, and medical staff over military concerns. Inside the hospital, Youssef Abul Reesh reported Israeli tanks and soldiers, with an unnamed security official suggesting a potential expansion of the operation.
Despite prior attempts to urge evacuation, the hospital resisted, and Israel’s efforts to coordinate the evacuation of critically wounded patients faced challenges amid escalating conflict. The IDF reported the death of two officers in northern Gaza and additional casualties.
Moreover, the IDF announced an assault on a Hamas training base, uncovering a tunnel shaft and numerous weapons. A separate drone strike targeted two Hamas operatives, suspected of placing explosive devices on a road utilized by Israeli troops, exiting a building housing an anti-tank missile launch position.
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