Hundreds of patients, staff and evacuees left behindHealth officials announced on Saturday that only a small number of soldiers would be left to care for the incapacitated and the Israeli military to manage the facility.
One evacuee described a panicked and chaotic situation as Israeli forces searched the evacuees for men, scanned their faces and took some away.
The World Health Organization has described Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital as a “death zone” and called for a complete evacuation, Agence France-Presse reported.
On Wednesday, they searched the vast al-Shifa hospital complex and remained there, searching floor by floor and room by room for evidence of Hamas fighters and the group’s underground command center. U.S. officials have said they also have evidence of a Hamas headquarters, but military groups and hospital officials deny this.
Israel’s claims that Hamas has infiltrated civilian areas and hospitals are central to its justification for the massive military operation launched after Hamas’s devastating October 7 attack on Israel.
On Saturday, the military announced that it had been asked by the hospital director to assist those who wish to leave the hospital through a safe route. The military said it had not issued any evacuation orders and that medical workers were allowed to remain in hospitals to assist patients who were unable to travel.
But Medhat Abbas, a spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip’s health ministry, said the military had ordered the facility to be evacuated and hospitals had been given an hour to let people out.
“I was inside al-Shifa hospital and was forcibly evacuated by the Israelis,” Dr. Ramez Radwan told Reuters. “May God save us.”
“They left us at gunpoint,” Mahmoud Abu Auf told The Associated Press by phone after leaving a crowded hospital with his family. “Tanks and snipers were everywhere inside and outside.” He said he saw Israeli forces detaining three men.
After the evacuation appeared nearly complete, Shifa physician Dr. Ahmed Mohararati said on social media that around 120 patients remained who could not be evacuated, including patients in intensive care and premature babies. , myself and five others said: Doctors remained to treat them.
It was not immediately clear where those discharged from hospitals went, and 25 of the Gaza Strip’s hospitals were crippled due to lack of fuel, damage or other problems, according to World Health Action. The remaining 11 hospitals are said to be only partially operational.
The escape from Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital comes as internet and phone services have been restored in the Gaza Strip and a telecommunications blackout that forced the United Nations to halt the transport of vital humanitarian aid as it was unable to coordinate convoys. It happened on the same day that it ended.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in his weekly media address Saturday night that Israel was sending two fuel trucks a day to Gaza to prevent disease outbreaks.
Biden renews call for two-state solution
President Biden, in Saturday’s editorial Calling for a two-state solution, the Washington Post said, “The international community must commit resources, including interim security measures, to support the people of Gaza in the immediate aftermath of this crisis and build a lasting response to the crisis in Gaza.” A corresponding reconstruction mechanism must be established.” And it is essential to ensure that terrorist threats never again arise from Gaza or the West Bank. ”
At least 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed and an estimated 240 abducted when Hamas militants invaded southern Israel on October 7.
At least 12,300 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli counterattacks, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and fighters in its tally.
Earlier this week, CBS News reported that IsraelUnder the deal, Hamas will release some hostages held by Palestinian militants in Gaza in exchange for a three- to five-day ceasefire. As part of the proposal, an unspecified number of Palestinian women and children currently held in Israeli prisons could also be released, officials familiar with the negotiations told CBS News.
On Saturday, National Security Council Spokesperson Adrian Watson told CBS News: “We don’t have an agreement yet, but we are continuing to work towards an agreement.”
At a press conference Saturday night, Prime Minister Netanyahu suggested he was under “strong pressure” from the United States and other world leaders to agree to a ceasefire.
“They pressured us to agree to a full ceasefire, which we refused, but I made it clear: We will only agree to a temporary ceasefire, and only in exchange for the return of the hostages.” Prime Minister Netanyahu said. “Together with my colleagues, I reject these pressures and say to the world: We will continue to fight until we win, until we destroy Hamas and bring the hostages home.”
On Saturday, thousands of Israelis took part in a march from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in support of the families of the hostages. Many were furious with Netanyahu, blaming him for the security failures that led to the abduction.
“There are 240 kidnappers and the government, our government, is not talking to them about what is going on, what is being planned, what are the proposals? There’s no way they’re not telling them why they’re for it or against it. There’s nothing. Nobody’s talking to them,” protester Stevie Karem told CBS. told the news.
Dozens killed in airstrikes in northern and southern Gaza
Elsewhere in northern Gaza, witnesses said Israeli airstrikes hit crowded U.N. shelters in the main fighting area, killing dozens of people in the urban Jabaliya refugee camp. Injured survivors Ahmed Radwan and Yassin Sharif said the incident caused extensive destruction to the camp’s Fakhoura school.
“The scene was horrifying. Bodies of women and children were lying on the ground. Some people were screaming for help,” Radwan said by phone. Associated Press photos from a local hospital showed more than 20 bodies wrapped in bloody sheets.
The Israeli military warned residents of Jabaliya to leave in Arabic-language social media posts, but said only that troops were operating in the area “with the purpose of attacking terrorists.” It rarely comments on individual attacks, saying only that they target Hamas with minimal harm to civilians.
“We have received horrifying images and footage of scores of people being killed and injured at another UNRWA school sheltering thousands of displaced people,” Philippe Lazzarini, Director-General of the United Nations Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA), said in a statement. ).
In southern Gaza, an Israeli airstrike hit a house on the outskirts of the town of Khan Younis, killing at least 26 Palestinians, a doctor at the hospital where the bodies were taken said.
“We don’t know how to grieve anymore,” Iyad Zaim from Khan Younis, who lost eight family members, told Reuters. “I can hardly cry now.”
Israel appears to have expanded military operations into southern Gaza
Defense Minister Yoav Galant said Israeli forces had begun operations east of Gaza City while continuing their operations in the western region.
“With each passing day, there are fewer places for Hamas terrorists to operate,” he said, adding that the insurgents would find out in southern Gaza “within a few days.”
His comments were the clearest indication yet that the military plans to expand its offensive into southern Gaza, where Israel had instructed Palestinian civilians to evacuate earlier in the war. The evacuation zone was already packed with refugees, and it was unclear where they would go if an attack approached.
Israel has made little comment about individual attacks, saying only that they were targeting Hamas and trying to avoid harming civilians. Many Israeli airstrikes also kill women and children.
Israel said Thursday it would make every effort to complete the operation in Gaza “with the minimum of civilian casualties.”
“That’s what we’re trying to do, to minimize civilian casualties, and unfortunately we haven’t succeeded,” Netanyahu told CBS Evening News’ Norah O’Donnell. The failure of the military’s efforts was squarely blamed on Hamas. “A theological and insane cult,” he said, accusing them of deliberately trapping Palestinian civilians behind the fighters and using them as human shields.
Most of Gaza’s population is now evacuated to the south, including hundreds of thousands of people who answered Israel’s call to evacuate Gaza City and the north to avoid getting in the way of a ground offensive.