Israel said it military has launched an operation against Hamas military early Wednesday inside Gaza’s largest hospital Al-Shifa, where thousands of Palestinians are believed to be sheltering.
Conditions at the hospital, which has stopped functioning due to lack of water and fuel, have deteriorated rapidly in recent days amid intense fighting, and doctors have warned of a ‘catastrophic’ situation for patients and staff.
In a statement posted online, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that it has launched a “precise and targeted” operation against Hamas inside specific areas of Al-Shifa hospital.
Peter Lerner, spokesperson for IDF, said that the army has, so far, not found any indication of hostages being held inside hospital, as per CNN.
Khader Al Za’anoun, a reporter for Palestinian news agency, Wafa, informed that the Israeli tanks and military vehicles were “inside the courtyard of Al-Shifa hospital.” He added that the soldiers were inside hospital premises and were conducting search and interrogation operations with young men inside the hospital amidst intense fighting and violent gunfire.
Israel has repeatedly accused Hamas of using hospital premises as their base, which has been denied by Hamas as well as hospital authority.
The desperate actions at Al-Shifa hospital has triggered fresh international outcry over Israel’s actions in Gaza.