War between Israel and Hamas: Palestinians describe raid around Gaza hospital

RAFAH (Gaza Strip) – Palestinians who fled an ongoing Israeli raid on Gaza's main hospital described mass arrests and forced marches past corpses in interviews on Sunday, while the United Nations said Israel was now preventing its main agency helping the Palestinians from sending food aid to northern Gaza. The destroyed pocket.

The Israeli military said it killed more than 170 activists and arrested about 480 suspects in the raid on Shifa Hospital that began on Monday, calling it a blow to Hamas and other armed groups that it says have regrouped there. the war He's approaching the six-month mark.

The fighting highlights the resilience of Palestinian armed groups in the severely devastated part of Gaza, where Israeli forces were forced to return after a period of fighting. A similar raid in the first weeks of the war.

Karim Ayman Hatat, who lived in a five-story building about 100 meters from the hospital, said he stayed in the kitchen for days while explosions sometimes caused the building to shake.

Early on Saturday, Israeli forces stormed the building and forced dozens of residents to leave. He said the men were forced to strip to their underwear and four of them were arrested. The rest were blindfolded and ordered to follow a tank south while explosions rang out around them.

“From time to time, the tank fires a shell,” he told the Associated Press. “It was to terrorize us.”

On Sunday, Israeli aircraft launched several raids near Al-Shifa Hospital, which was largely out of operation after the November raid. After claiming that Hamas has been maintaining a sophisticated command center there for Israeli forces for months Single tunnel detection It leads to a few underground rooms.

Almost no aid has been delivered in recent weeks to northern Gaza and Gaza City, where Shifa City is located. The isolated area suffered widespread destruction in the first days of the subsequent Israeli attack Hamas attack on October 7 That sparked the war.

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UNRWA Director General Philippe Lazzarini said on social media that Israel had informed the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), as of Sunday, that it would no longer agree to send the agency’s food convoys to northern Gaza.

“This is outrageous and makes it intentionally obstructing life-saving aid during a man-made famine,” he said. an agency, The largest provider of humanitarian aid in GazaIsrael repeatedly accuses him of having links to Hamas. The Israeli government did not immediately respond.

Palestinians inspect damage to residential buildings after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Sunday, March 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

The experts said Famine is imminent in northern GazaMore than 210,000 people suffer from catastrophic hunger.

A day after standing near an estimated 7,000 aid trucks waiting to enter Gaza, the UN Secretary-General described the famine as a “moral outrage,” António Guterres He urged an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, the release of hostages held in Gaza, and the removal of “obstacles” placed by Israel to allow aid to flow.

“Looking at Gaza, it seems that the four horsemen of war, famine, invasion and death are galloping through it,” Guterres said in Egypt, adding that nothing justifies collective punishment of Palestinians.

The Gaza Ministry of Health said that five wounded Palestinians trapped in Al-Shifa Hospital died without food, water, or medical services. The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, described the conditions as “absolutely inhumane.”

Jamil Al-Ayoubi, who was among thousands who took refuge in Al-Shifa Hospital when the current raid began, said tanks and armored bulldozers stormed the hospital courtyard and crushed ambulances and civilian vehicles. He saw tanks trampling on the bodies of at least four people killed in the raid.

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The Israeli military said on Saturday that it had evacuated patients and medical staff from the emergency department at Shifa Hospital because militants had “barricaded themselves” there, and set up an alternative site for seriously wounded patients.

Abdel Radwan, who lives about 200 meters from the hospital, said that Israeli forces stormed all the buildings in the area, arrested several people, and forced the rest to walk south. He saw bodies in the streets and several houses flattened.

He added: “They left nothing untouched.”

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said that the Israeli army stormed early Sunday morning the Al-Amal and Al-Nasser hospitals in the city of Khan Yunis, in the south of the country, amid “very intense bombardment.” The Israeli army announced operations in Khan Yunis targeting Hamas' infrastructure, but said that the forces are not currently working in hospitals. Hamas was accused of using hospitals as shields.

The war resulted in the deaths of at least 32,226 Palestinians, according to estimates Ministry of Health in Gaza. The organization does not differentiate between civilians and fighters in the death toll, but says that women and children constitute about two-thirds of the dead.

Palestinians inspect damage to residential buildings after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Sunday, March 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

Palestinians inspect damage to residential buildings after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Sunday, March 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

Israel says it killed more than 13,000 militants without providing evidence. It blames civilian casualties on Hamas and accuses it of being present in residential areas.

More than 80% of Gaza's population of 2.3 million have fled their homes, most of them seeking asylum. In the city of Rafah in the southWhich Israel considers the next target of its ground attack. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu He rejects US appeals Others avoid carrying out a major ground operation there, considering it necessary to defeat Hamas.

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Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said he was traveling to the United States on Sunday at Washington's invitation with the aim of preserving “our ability to acquire air systems and munitions” for the war and maintaining important relations with Israel's largest ally.

The Hamas-led attack on October 7 across southern Israel killed about 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and took dozens hostage. Hamas is still holding an estimated 100 hostages and the remains of 30 others. Most of the rest were released in exchange for the release of some Palestinian prisoners in November.

The United States, Qatar and Egypt are trying to broker another ceasefire and release prisoners.

Across the border from Gaza on Sunday, Jews celebrated their holiday The most joyful of the holidaysPurim, the biblical story of how a plot to exterminate the Jews was thwarted in Persia as an assurance of Jewish survival.

The war sparked instability throughout the region, including… Low-intensity conflict Between Israel and the Lebanese Hezbollah group. Overnight, the Israeli army said it struck a Hezbollah weapons manufacturing facility in the city of Baalbek in northeastern Lebanon. Local officials said three people were injured. Hezbollah later said it fired 60 rockets across the border in response. There were no reports of Israeli casualties.

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Sami Magdy reported from Cairo. Abby Sewell contributed to this report from Beirut.

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Find out more AP war coverage on https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

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