Aftermath of Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital raid seen for the first time with bodies left to rot after IDF troops withdraw

Aftermath of Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital raid seen for the first time with bodies left to rot after IDF troops withdraw

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THE devastating aftermath of a two-week raid on Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital can be revealed for the first time in harrowing images.

Israel Defence troops have today withdrawn from the complex – leaving a trail of rotting corpses and bombed-out buildings behind them.

Reuters

Pictures of Gaza’s bombed out Al-Shifa hospital have emerged[/caption]

EPA

The IDF claimed to have killed around 200 militants. Pictures show the hospital’s bombed out remains[/caption]

Israel claimed to have killed around 200 militants and detained hundreds more after the stint of close-quarters fighting.

Unverfied footage on social media showed corpses, some covered in dirty blankets, scattered around the charred remains of the hospital.

It showed ground heavily ploughed up, and numerous buildings outside the facility flattened or burned down.

“I haven’t stopped crying since I arrived here, horrible massacres were committed by the occupation here,” said Samir Basel, 43, speaking to Reuters via a chat app as he toured Al Shifa.

“The place is destroyed, buildings have been burnt and destroyed. This place needs to be rebuilt – there is no Shifa hospital anymore.”

It showed heavily ploughed ground and numerous buildings outside the facility had been flattened or burned down.

With access to Gaza’s biggest hospital – previously dubbed “the beating heart” of Hamas – severely restricted, the Israeli and Palestinian version of events differ sharply.

Palestinian officials called the raid on a hospital a war crime, while Israeli officials said special forces units targeted a Hamas stronghold that was deliberately located among vulnerable civilians.

Thousands of Palestinians – 6,200 according to the Israeli military – had been sheltering in the complex, one of few locations in the north of Gaza with some access to electricity and water.

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Ismail Al-Thawabta, director of the Hamas-run Gaza media office, said Israeli forces had killed 400 Palestinians in and around the hospital including a woman doctor and her son, also a doctor, and put the facility out of action.


“They bulldozed the courtyards, burying dozens of bodies of martyrs in the rubble, turning the place into a mass graveyard,” he said.

“This is a crime against humanity.”

Hamas and medics deny any armed presence in hospitals but Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said the site had been turned into a major operating centre by the Palestinian armed groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

He said that emergency patients had been evacuated from the hospital before the operation and insisted no Palestinian civilians, patients or medical personnel had been harmed by Israeli forces.

According to Hagari three of the main buildings in the complex had been destroyed in the fighting – the main emergency room, the maternity ward and an annexe known as the Qatari Building – after Hamas fighters refused calls to surrender.

“They’re using those places, they know it’s a safe haven, they know that they use it intentionally as their command and control centre,” he told reporters on Monday,” he said.

He added that 200 militants and two Israeli servicemen had been killed during the operation and more than 900 suspected militants detained.

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And 500 of those detained were identified as Hamas or Islamic Jihad, including senior commanders and officials.

He said documents recovered by Israeli forces showed the hospital was used as a base to control the northern section of the Gaza Strip, which has largely been destroyed since the start of the ground invasion in October.

As well as weapons and computers equipment, cash worth more than $3 million was also recovered, he said.

“It was a significant operation in terms of the blow that Hamas and Islamic Jihad suffered,” Hagari said.

I haven’t stopped crying since I arrived here, horrible massacres were committed by the occupation here.


Samir BaselSpeaking as he toured Al-Shifa

Hamas said Israel detained 350 people from inside Shifa, including patients and displaced people and dozens of others from districts nearby.

One video showed some Palestinians returning to the area to retrieve mattresses and other belongings from under rubble where they had previously been sheltering.

“We evacuated hoping to come back and find my belongings. I have nothing left.

My house was bombed and everything has gone. I have nothing left,” one woman told Reuters.

“I sought shelter at schools but they told me there was no space for me. Where do I go?”

It was the second major Israeli incursion into Al Shifa Hospital after an earlier operation in November.

Israel’s military has also stepped up preparations for an assault on Rafah, the southern city where more than 1 million people displaced by the fighting have been sheltering, many in improvised encampments.

In Rafah, an Israeli airstrike killed six people, Palestinian health officials said.

More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed, including 63 in the past 24 hours, in Israel’s military offensive in Gaza, according to the Palestinian health authorities.

In the Oct. 7 attack, Hamas killed 1,200 people and took 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies. The military has published the names of 257 soldiers killed in Gaza combat.

It comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was admitted to hospital for treatment on a hernia.

According to a statement released by Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem on Sunday he is in “excellent health”.

Alon Pikarsky, the hospital’s director of general surgery, said in a video statement that the procedure “ended successfully” and Netanyahu is “awake, he is talking to his family, and his situation is perfect.”

Netanyahu, 74, was diagnosed with a hernia during a routine examination, his office previously said in a statement.

He was placed under anesthesia for the procedure.

He previously underwent a hernia operation in 2013 and had a pacemaker fitted last year.

Reuters

Israel claims that no civilians were killed during the raid which left a shell of a burnt-out building[/caption]

Rex

Israel claims the hospital was a Hamas stronghold[/caption]

AFP

Bodies and rubble are all that’s left of the hospital and its surrounding areas[/caption]

Rex

The raid was was the second major Israeli incursion into Al Shifa Hospital[/caption]

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