Israel army withdraws from inside Gaza hospital, journalist tells AFP

He also said the troops had left behind three crates of medical supplies and water.

Published: 15th November 2023 11:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th November 2023 11:47 PM   |  A+A-

Gaza hospital

Wounded Palestinians wait for treatment in Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City. (Photo | AFP)


JERUSALEM: A journalist trapped inside Gaza's largest hospital told AFP on Wednesday that Israeli troops had withdrawn from the building after entering it overnight and have redeployed around its outskirts.

Israeli forces had pushed into Gaza City's Al-Shifa hospital in the early hours of the morning, raising fears for the safety of thousands of patients, staff and displaced civilians trapped inside.

The UN estimates there are at least 2,300 people inside Al-Shifa.

The Israeli army, which earlier said it was conducting "a precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area" of the facility, had no immediate comment.

Israel has long accused the Islamist militant group of operating a command centre in tunnels underneath the sprawling complex, in a claim backed by the White House and denied by Hamas.

During Wednesday's operation, troops had interrogated dozens of civilians, some of whom were stripped to their underwear, all of whom were released when the troops withdrew, said the journalist in contact with AFP.

He also said the troops had left behind three crates of medical supplies and water.

For days, intense fighting has raged between Israeli troops and Hamas militants around the outskirts of the hospital which is located on the western side of Gaza City.

Entering the hospital has been an important objective for Israel which has vowed to wipe out Gaza's Hamas rulers after its militants stormed over the border on October 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, Israeli officials say.

In response, Israel has struck back with a massive air and ground campaign that has so far killed more than 11,300 people, more than two-thirds of them women and children, Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry says.


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