However, what is certain is that the largest hospital in Gaza, housing patients, the wounded, doctors, displaced individuals, and the bodies of the dead who fell over the past days in the intense Israeli airstrikes that targeted various areas in the city and north of the Gaza Strip.
UN estimates suggest that there are at least 2,300 people inside the complex, including patients, medical staff, and many displaced individuals, likely unable to leave amid the fierce battles taking place around them.
Earlier today, the Israeli army announced the raid on the hospital, stating that its units are “carrying out a precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specific area in Al-Shifa Hospital, based on intelligence information and operational necessities.”
The army noted that its units “include medical teams and Arabic-speaking speakers who have undergone specific training to prepare for this complex and sensitive environment.”
Before the raid, Israeli forces had surrounded the hospital, reinforced with tanks on the ground and air support, after their ground incursion into various parts of Gaza City and its north.
What is happening inside the hospital?
In a press conference today, former Defense Minister and member of the emergency government, Benny Gantz, refused to provide details about what is happening in Al-Shifa Hospital but stated that his forces are conducting a focused operation in a specific location in this complex.
Meanwhile, eyewitnesses from the vicinity of the medical complex, located west of Gaza City, reported that Israeli forces had gathered a number of displaced citizens in the eastern and western squares of the hospital.
Israeli forces are also conducting identity checks and searching for individuals they consider wanted.
In an interview with Agence France-Presse, Youssef Abu al-Reesh, the Hamas-affiliated Health Ministry’s undersecretary in Gaza, confirmed seeing tanks outside the compound, confirming the entry of “dozens of soldiers” into the emergency and reception buildings.
Humanitarian organizations reported that people inside the hospital had been fired upon when attempting to leave.
As of now, the Israeli army has not issued any official statement regarding the fate of the individuals undergoing inspection in the hospital courtyard.
Al-Shifa Hospital is facing difficult conditions, with power and fuel shortages.
Yesterday, the hospital’s director, Mohammed Abu Selmeya, told AFP that “at least 179 bodies” had been buried in a “mass grave” in the compound’s courtyard, including seven children who died due to power outages.
According to Abu Selmeya, “bodies are scattered in the hospital corridors, and electricity is cut off to the morgue refrigerators.”