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Home / News / Israel says troops have left Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital

Israel says troops have left Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital

Israeli forces have withdrawn from Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital after a two-week operation during which they killed militants in clashes and seized weaponry and intelligence documents, the military said.

It said the sweep of what had been Gaza’s biggest hospital before the war had been conducted “while preventing harm to civilians, patients and medical teams”.

Earlier, the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said the Israeli military had withdrawn tanks and vehicles from the complex housing Al Shifa.

The ministry said dozens of bodies had been found at the complex, where an AFP journalist and eyewitnesses saw tanks and vehicles pulling out.

The army launched its operation 18 March, and has described it as a “precise” one targeting Hamas militants it accused of operating from the complex.

It has previously said scores of Hamas militants had been killed in fighting in and around Al Shifa.

Hamas has denied operating from Al Shifa and other health facilities.

Hamas has denied operating from Al Shifa

A doctor told AFP more than 20 bodies had been recovered, and that some bodies had been crushed by withdrawing vehicles.

Meanwhile, an Israeli air strike on a Gaza hospital yesterday killed four people and wounded 17, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

The strike at Al-Aqsa hospital was witnessed by a WHO team sent there to assess needs and to collect incubators for the north of Gaza, Dr Tedros said in a post on X.

Israel’s military denied that the hospital was damaged.

“A WHO team was on a humanitarian mission at Al-Aqsa Hospital in Gaza, when a tent camp inside the hospital compound was hit by an Israeli airstrike today,” the WHO chief wrote.

He gave no details of the victims but added: “WHO staff are all accounted for.”

The Israeli army said on X that one of its planes “struck an operational Islamic Jihad command centre and terrorists positioned in the courtyard of the Al-Aqsa Hospital in the area of Deir al Balah.

“Following the precise strike, the Al-Aqsa hospital building was not damaged, and its function was not affected,” it added.

Dr Tedros said in a later post that 21 patients had died at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City since 18 March.

The hospital, which was Gaza’s largest before the war broke out, has only one bottle of water available for every 15 people, he said.

Dr Tedros renewed his appeal for patients, health professionals and aid workers to be protected during the conflict, and for attacks on hospitals to stop.

“We again call for protection of patients, health personnel and humanitarian missions,” he added.

“The ongoing attacks and militarisation of hospitals must stop. International humanitarian law must be respected.”

Dr Tedros urged all parties to the conflict to comply with the UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire.

Since an unprecedented 7 October attack Hamas launched out of Gaza, Israel has said it will destroy the movement and has relentlessly bombed the Palestinian territory.

There are ten hospitals in Gaza still functioning at a minimum level, compared to 36 before the start of the war, according to the WHO.

As well as air strikes there has also been fierce ground fighting in and around hospitals in the territory, where many Gazans fleeing the violence have taken shelter.

Hamas’s 7 October attack resulted in about 1,160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel’s retaliatory campaign has killed at least 32,782 people, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza.

Israel reports aerial attack on Eilat; Iraqi militia claims launch

Israel’s Red Sea port city of Eilat came under an aerial attack this morning that caused no casualties, the military said, and an Iranian-backed armed group in Iraq issued a claim of responsibility.

The military’s statement said a flying object launched from east of Israel had struck a building in Eilat. It did not elaborate on the object or the provenance. Sirens went off in the city but there was no interception by air defences, it said.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a militia, said in a statement that it had attacked a “vital objective” in Israel” using appropriate weapons”. It did not offer further details.

Eilat has come under repeated missile and drone attack from the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen during Israel’s almost six-month-old war against Hamas in Gaza. In November, Israel said a group in Syria had launched a drone that hit the port city.

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