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Israeli army says operation under way in Gaza hospital

The Israeli army announced an operation was under way in Gaza’s main hospital Al-Shifa, saying the complex was being used by senior Hamas militants.

Soldiers “are currently conducting a precise operation in the area of the Shifa hospital,” a statement from the military said.

“The operation is based on intelligence information indicating the use of the hospital by senior Hamas terrorists”.

Al-Shifa is the Gaza’s largest hospital. The Israeli army had in November last year carried out an operation in the complex, sparking an international outcry.

Witnesses in Gaza told journalists on the ground that the Al-Rimal neighbourhood, where Al-Shifa is located, had been hit by air strikes.

They also said tanks had surrounded the sprawling Al-Shifa complex.

Israel has repeatedly accused Hamas of running military operations from hospitals and other medical centres, claims the militant group denies.

The war began when Hamas launched an unprecedented attack from Gaza on 7 October that resulted in about 1,160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of official figures.

Vowing to destroy Hamas, Israel has carried out a relentless bombardment and ground offensive which the health ministry in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory says has killed at least 31,645 people in Gaza, most of them women and children.

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