The Israeli army in the early hours of Wednesday morning said they have entered a “certain part” of Gaza City’s largest hospital, the al-Shifa. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) claims that the Hamas terrorist group is maintaining a command centre inside the hospital.
The hospital is sheltering thousands of sick, displaced Gazans, and the move could intensify international criticism of Israel.
The United Nations estimates that at least 2,300 patients, staff, and displaced civilians are inside the facility, trapped by days of fierce fighting and aerial bombardments.
“The operation is based on intelligence information and operational needs. The operation is not meant to harm patients, medical staff or citizens in the hospital,” the IDF said in a statement.
“The operation was preceded by an effort to evacuate the hospital of patients and those taking refuge, and a special corridor was even opened,” the IDF further added. They said that the management of the al-Shifa hospital was alerted before the IDF entered the compound. The IDF assured that later on incubators, medical equipment and baby food will be transferred to the hospital.
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza told the press that it was informed about the IDF raid into the coastal enclave’s largest hospital.