Israeli forces on Monday launched an attack against Hamas in northern Gaza, battling militants in the vicinity of a hospital where thousands of patients and displaced people have been hiding for weeks, raising Palestinian worries of another excruciating stalemate and evacuation of a medical facility, news agency AP reported. According to a medical worker inside the institution and the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza, a shell impacted the second floor of the Indonesian Hospital, killing at least 12 people. Both pointed the finger to Israeli soldiers. The Israeli military made no quick reaction.
The breakthrough occurred just one day after the WHO evacuated 31 preterm newborns from Shifa Hospital. On Monday, at least 28 were transferred to Egypt. Over 250 severely ill or injured individuals are still stuck at the complex, which Israeli soldiers assaulted days ago.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said on Monday he believes a deal to secure the release of hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza is near, news agency AFP reported.
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The fate of Gaza’s hospitals is at the center of a narrative battle over the war’s harsh toll on Palestinian people, hundreds of whom have been murdered or buried in rubble since Hamas’ Oct. 7 onslaught into southern Israel launched the conflict, AP reported. Following the attack, Israeli authorities threatened to eliminate Hamas’ capacity to control Gaza and dismantle its violent apparatus.
According to Israel, Hamas employs residents as human shields and has a significant command centre inside and beneath Shifa. According to critics, Israel’s blockade and unrelenting aerial bombardment constitute to collective punishment for the territory’s 2.3 million Palestinians.
Israeli tanks were operating less than 200 metres (yards) from the hospital, according to Marwan Abdallah, a medical worker at the Indonesian Hospital, and Israeli snipers could be seen on the roofs of neighbouring buildings. The sound of gunshots could be heard in the background while he chatted on the phone.
According to Abdallah, the hospital received scores of dead and wounded from airstrikes and shelling overnight.
According to Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesperson for the Health Ministry who is currently located in southern Gaza, 600 patients, 200 health care personnel, and 2,000 displaced persons are hiding there. “The occupation aims to evacuate the hospital, as it did in Shifa,” he was quoted by AP in its report.