Israel's Defence Forces gear up for operation into South Gaza as hundreds of Palestinians accuse Tel-Aviv troops of forcing wounded civilians to leave Al-Shifa hospital as they conduct search for Hamas assets
by: Hani Kamal El-Din
Israel’s Defence Forces (IDF) are gearing up for their operation into South Gaza as hundreds of Palestinians accused Tel-Aviv troops of forcing wounded civilians to leave Al-Shifa hospital while conducting a search for Hamas assets.
Israel prepares to expand its offensive against Hamas to southern Gaza today after warning civilians to relocate after already dropping warning leaflets earlier this week.
As the IDF looked to move southward, Palestinian officials accused the Israeli army of forcibly evacuating most staff, patients and displaced people from Gaza’s largest hospital Al-Shifa and abandoning them to perilous journeys southwards on foot.
Hamas-run authorities in Gaza have raised their death toll to 12,300, including 5,000 children, this weekend following further Israeli attacks.
Israel’s military has been searching Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital for a Hamas command centre that it alleges is located under the facility – a claim Hamas and hospital staff deny.
The evacuation, which Israel says was voluntary, left behind only Israeli troops and a small number of health workers to care for those too sick to move.
Military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said Israel opened a safe corridor for civilians who were in the hospital to go south, at the request of the hospital director.
Israeli forces seized Al Shifa in their offensive across north Gaza earlier in the week, saying it concealed an underground Hamas command centre.