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Gaza medics say Israeli forces raid Khan Yunis hospital

BI Desk || BusinessInsider

Published: 11:44, 10 February 2024  
Gaza medics say Israeli forces raid Khan Yunis hospital

Photo: Collected

Israeli forces on Friday raided a hospital in the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis which has been besieged for weeks, said the Palestinian Red Crescent Society which runs the facility.

"The occupation (Israeli) forces stormed Al-Amal hospital and started searching it. We're finding it difficult to communicate with our crews inside the hospital," a PRCS statement said.

The Israeli army confirmed troops were carrying out an operation, reports BSS/AFP.

"Based on intelligence indicating Hamas is conducting terrorist activities within Al-Amal hospital in Khan Yunis, a precise sweep and clear operation to locate terrorists and dismantle terrorist infrastructure in the vicinity has commenced," the army told AFP.

Later on, the PRCS said Israeli forces had arrested eight of its team members at the hospital, including "four doctors, as well as four wounded individuals and five patients' companions".

Al-Amal has been caught in fierce fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas militants, with the Red Crescent reporting "intense artillery shelling and heavy gunfire" continuing around the hospital on Thursday.

The medical organisation has in recent days made repeated pleas for supplies and protection, reporting severe shortages of oxygen, medicines and fuel to power the hospital.

Earlier this week, the Red Crescent said some 8,000 people who had sought shelter at Al-Amal and its nearby Khan Yunis headquarters were evacuated.

A video published by the organisation showed a medic wheeling an elderly woman through a damaged street on a hospital bed.

Around 40 displaced people, 80 patients and 100 staff remained following the evacuation, the PRCS said Monday.

Hospitals are granted special protection under the laws of war, but they have been repeatedly hit in Gaza over the past four months.

There are no fully functioning hospitals left in the Palestinian territory, the United Nations said Wednesday, while just over a third of them are working at limited capacity.

Health facilities have been overwhelmed by the scale of casualties, with more than 67,000 people wounded during the war in Gaza.

Israel's relentless air, sea and land assault has killed at least 27,947 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

The war erupted with an unprecedented October 7 attack by Hamas militants on Israel which resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.