Portada » Israeli troops bomb and storm Gaza’s main operational hospital | International

Israeli troops bomb and storm Gaza’s main operational hospital | International

by Isabella Walker
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This Thursday the Israeli army attacked and occupied the Al Naser hospital in Khan Younis, the main center still operational in Gaza’s battered healthcare network. Authorities from the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) denounced the attacks, which caused deaths and injuries, although the number has not yet been established. Israel recognizes that its troops are operating at Al Naser Hospital as part of the campaign to end Hamas and because it believes these facilities could have been used to hold hostages. Indeed, they add, some bodies of seized already deceased people could be found in the structures, even if no evidence has been presented so far. Deaths in Gaza due to Israeli attacks since the war began on October 7 are almost 29,000, the vast majority of them women and children.

Some doctors and witnesses were able to record the moments following some impacts. In the videos you can see corridors and rooms full of smoke and staff transporting patients. In several images, soldiers can also be seen inside the hospital with dozens of people kneeling, both healthcare workers and other civilians.

The attack came after Israel ordered the evacuation of thousands of people from the hospital on Tuesday. The attack reported by MSF occurred in the early hours of Thursday, “despite the fact that Israeli forces had told medical staff and patients that they could remain in the center,” the aid organization said in a statement. The NGO added that troops carried out operations inside the facilities and that its team had to flee, leaving patients behind. One of the members of the mission was arrested by the Israeli army and another is missing. They describe a “chaotic situation, with an unknown number of dead and injured”.

Screenshots of the interior of Al Naser Hospital in Khan Yunis, showing men blocking a door and injured people being treated by hospital staff.@mohammedharar/Reuters

In the attack, Israel also used drones which, according to the spokesperson for the Gaza Ministry of Health, Ashraf al Qedra, fired at the surgery department on the third floor, wounding one of the doctors. The structures, according to this source, were transformed into military barracks after the troops demolished the southern wall, even forcing doctors to abandon patients in the intensive care unit. The operation also involved ambulances, the tents where the displaced population took refuge and even the tombs where the bodies were buried due to the impossibility of transferring them to cemeteries.

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This is an operation that the special forces carry out with “precision”, Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari explained in a video, underlining that they did not force the evacuation of the hospital.

For its part, the Palestinian Red Crescent “strongly rejected the accusations made by the Israeli occupation forces” that “20 terrorists disguised as medical personnel” had been arrested on February 9 in another Gaza hospital, Al Amal, when they broke into his quarters. This organization acknowledges that nine members of its team who had been working for years and nine patients who could not be evacuated were detained. Al Amal, together with other hospitals such as Shifi or Rantisi, is part of the health centers in Gaza that have been attacked and seized by Israeli troops, who claim that these places have been used by Hamas.

Tension and death on the border with Lebanon

In the last few hours, the highest number of deaths caused by the war on Lebanese territory since 7 October has been recorded. Two Israeli attacks killed a dozen people, including women and children. One of the victims, according to Israeli military sources, is Ali Muhamad Aldbas, commander of the Radwan forces, a special Hezbollah unit, who died together with a lieutenant and another militant. Lebanese Shiite guerrillas, backed by Iran, responded by firing dozens of projectiles into northern Israel.

Meanwhile, it was revealed on Thursday that the head of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), William Burns, traveled to Israel on Wednesday from Egypt, where the negotiator countries’ attempts to reach a ceasefire continue. Burns met, according to several Israeli media, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the head of the Mossad (foreign intelligence service), David Barnea, in an attempt to break the deadlock on the Israeli president’s refusal to continue holding meetings in the Egyptian capital. to obtain a cessation of hostilities.

Khan Younis, in the south of the Strip, has been militarily occupied since the end of last year and the Israeli army reports the city as an Islamist stronghold. In the tunnels dug in that town he even placed the leader of Hamas in the Strip, Yahia Sinwar, of whom he showed a video of the first days of the war this week together with some members of her family. In these months of conflict, Israeli forces were on the verge of capturing him on several occasions, according to the local press, which reported the discovery of some of his personal objects, including a toothbrush. Sinwar is considered the intellectual responsible for the attacks that caused around 1,200 deaths in Israel on October 7, opening the tap of the current war.

A dozen kilometers south of Khan Yunis lies the city of Rafah, where more than a million people, most of them homeless displaced people, crowd along the Egyptian border without being able to escape further. The enormous humanitarian crisis due to the lack of food, water, medicines and shelter due to the blockade to which Israel is subjecting the Palestinian enclave has raised all the alarms with the announcement of an incursion of troops in Rafah, the only area left to be occupied by Gaza.

In an attempt to stop this operation, the results of which would be catastrophic, according to the UN and several humanitarian organizations, the three main mediating countries (USA, Qatar and Egypt) maintain delegations in Cairo trying to obtain a ceasefire. So far the positions of Hamas and Israel remain very distant. This cessation of hostilities, which Washington intends to last for six weeks, would allow for exchanges of Hamas hostages with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, as already occurred in the last week of November, and, at the same time, would give more leeway to seek to end the feud.

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