Israeli Military Raids Gaza’s Largest Hospital
KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Israeli military raided Gaza’s largest hospital early Wednesday, conducting what it called a targeted operation against Hamas as troops seized broader control of northern Gaza, including capturing the territory’s legislature building and its police headquarters.
Plight of Hospitals
In recent days, the focus of the war has been Shifa Hospital, with hundreds of patients, staff, and displaced people trapped inside. Shifa had stopped operations over the weekend, as its supplies dwindled and a lack of electricity left it no way to run incubators and other lifesaving equipment. After days without refrigeration, morgue stuff dug a mass grave Tuesday for 120 bodies in the yard.
The Israeli military said early Wednesday that it raided specific areas of the sprawling Shifa complex, while trying to avoid harming civilians. The statement gave no further details.
Israel has long alleged that the militants conceal military assets in the facility and other hospitals, a claim denied by Hamas and medical staff. Elsewhere, the Palestinian Red Crescent said Tuesday it had evacuated patients, doctors, and displaced families from another Gaza City hospital, Al-Quds.
Battle in Gaza City
Independent accounts of the fighting in Gaza City have been nearly impossible to gather, as communications to the north have largely collapsed.
Inside some of the newly captured buildings, soldiers held up the Israeli flag and military flags in celebration. In a nationally televised news conference, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Hamas had “lost control” of northern Gaza and that Israel made significant gains in Gaza City.
But asked about the time frame for the war, Gallant said: “We’re talking about long months, not a day or two.”
March for Hostages
Families and supporters of the around 240 people being held hostage by Hamas started a protest march from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The plight of the hostages has dominated public discourse since the Oct. 7 attack, with solidarity protests held across the country. The marchers, who expect to reach Jerusalem on Saturday, say the government must do more to bring home their loved ones.
“Where are you?” Shelly Shem Tov, whose 21-year-old son, Omer, is among the captives, called out to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “We have no strength anymore. We have no strength. Bring back our children and our families home.”
The Humanitarian Crisis
The Israeli onslaught has been disastrous for Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinians. More than 11,200 people, two-thirds of them women and minors, have been killed in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Ramallah. About 2,700 people have been reported missing. The ministry’s count does not differentiate between civilian and militant deaths.
Almost the entire population of Gaza has squeezed into the southern two-thirds of the tiny territory, where conditions have been deteriorating as bombardment there continues. About 200,000 fled the north in recent days, the U.N. said Tuesday, though tens of thousands are believed to remain.
The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees said Tuesday that its fuel storage facility in Gaza was empty and that it would soon cease relief operations, including bringing limited supplies of food and medicine in from Egypt for the more than 600,000 people sheltering in U.N.-run schools and other facilities in the south.
“Without fuel, the humanitarian operation in Gaza is coming to an end. Many more people will suffer and will likely die,” said Philippe Lazzarini, the commissioner-general of UNRWA.
Israeli defense officials changed course early Wednesday to allow some 24,000 liters (6,340 gallons) of fuel in for humanitarian efforts, officials said. Earlier, they repeatedly rejected allowing fuel into Gaza, saying Hamas would divert it for military use.
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian affairs, said it would allow U.N. trucks to refill at the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border later Wednesday. It said the decision was in response to a request from the U.S.
The situation in Gaza remains dire as the Israeli military raid on the largest hospital continues. The humanitarian crisis deepens as supplies and fuel run out, leaving the lives of thousands of innocent people at risk. The battle for control of Gaza City intensifies, and the plight of the hostages held by Hamas fuels public outrage and demands for action. It remains to be seen how long this conflict will last and what impact it will have on the region.
Full AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.
Read More of this Story at apnews.com – 2023-11-15 04:07:00
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