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Israel launches night raid at Gaza's al-Shifa hospital

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-03-18 16:35

People wait to receive aid supplies in Gaza City, March 17, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

JERUSALEM - Israeli forces launched a military operation in the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City before dawn on Monday, Israeli officials said.

In video footage on social networks, heavy gunfire could be heard in the vicinity of the hospital. The Israeli Ha'aretz newspaper reported that there were fatalities and injuries in the hospital.

The Health Ministry in Gaza said in a statement that the Israeli military attacked the al-Shifa complex, blaming the army for aiming "to continue destroying the health system in northern Gaza". The ministry urged international organizations to "immediately" intervene to protect the hospital and the patients inside it.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman Daniel Hagari announced the raid in a video release, saying the army had "concrete intelligence that demanded immediate action".

According to a separate statement released by the army, the information indicates "the use of the hospital by senior Hamas" militants to carry out attacks against Israel.

According to the army, Palestinian militants opened fire at the troops from within the hospital and the troops responded with live fire. "Hits were identified," it said. The operation was ongoing in the morning hours.

The army added that it would not force patients and medical staff to evacuate during the raid.

Al-Shifa, the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, has been previously targeted by the Israeli army.

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