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Israel searches largest hospital in Gaza | Middle East, the eternal conflict

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The Israeli army published this photo of its soldiers inside Al-Shifa hospital, the largest in the Gaza Strip.

Agence France-Presse

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The Israeli army on Friday intensified its hunt for Hamas hideouts, presumed hidden in the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip. In the Palestinian territory, the humanitarian situation is causing concern and telecommunications are now out of service, “for lack of fuel”.

The Hamas government claimed that Israeli soldiers had destroyed several wards of Al-Shifa hospital, a huge complex located in Gaza City, at the heart of the fighting between the Israeli army and Islamist fighters.

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According to the UN, 2,300 people are in Al-Shifa hospital, currently searched by the Israeli army. (File photo)

Since the deadly attack that Hamas carried out on Israeli soil on October 7, Israel has vowed to x27;wipe out the Islamist movement classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel.

The Israeli army is relentlessly bombing the small besieged Palestinian territory, where Hamas took power in 2007. Late Thursday evening, it announced that it had discovered near the hospital the body of Yehudit Weiss, a murdered hostage by terrorists in the Gaza Strip. She was kidnapped by Hamas on October 7 in Kibbutz Beeri, in southern Israel.

Middle East, the eternal conflict

Consult the complete file

Middle East, the eternal conflict

Consult the complete file


The raid launched Wednesday in the Al-Shifa hospital, deprived of water and electricity, sheltering patients, nursing staff and civilians who hoped to escape the war, sparked urgent calls from the international community to protect the population.

According to the UN, 2,300 people are in the hospital. For several days, Israel has been tightening its grip on Gaza City and more particularly its hospitals, accusing Hamas of using them as bases and of using the sick as human shields.

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Many civilians fleeing the war took refuge in Al-Shifa hospital, as shown in this image from November 5 2023.

An Israeli army official announced that soldiers were searching every floor, building after building, while hundreds of patients and medical staff remained in the complex.

We focus on what is underground, including in hospitals. As such, our soldiers discovered the entrance to a tunnel at Al-Shifa Hospital and military engineers are digging up the infrastructure, the spokesperson said late Thursday evening. -speaker Daniel Hagari.

Israel claims that Al-Shifa hospital houses strategic Hamas infrastructure, notably in tunnels dug under the complex, which the Islamist movement. Images relating to hostages captured by Hamas were found on equipment seized during the raid, the army added.

We had strong indications that they [the hostages, editor's note] were being held at Al-Shifa Hospital, and that was one of the reasons why we entered there. If the hostages were there, they were transported.

A quote from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in an interview with CBS

In Israel, around 1,200 people were killed, mainly civilians, according to the authorities, in the violent and violent attack launched on October 7 by Hamas commandos from the Gaza Strip. a scale unprecedented since the creation of Israel in 1948.

Since the attack, 51 soldiers have been killed in the Palestinian territory, according to the Israeli army, which estimates the number of hostages taken by Hamas to Gaza at around 240. Israeli retaliatory bombings in the Gaza Strip left 11,500 dead, mostly civilians, including 4,710 children, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

Since October 9, Israel has imposed a complete siege on the Palestinian territory, cutting off deliveries of water, electricity, food and medicine. International aid to Gaza arrives in dribs and drabs by truck from Egypt, in insufficient quantity according to the UN, which is calling in particular for the delivery of fuel to operate the generators in hospitals.

The director of the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, said Thursday in Geneva that communications were once again completely cut off with the Gaza Strip due to lack of fuel.

All telecommunications services in the Gaza Strip are now out of service, as energy sources powering the network have been depleted and fuel is not being allowed in.

A quote from Communiqué from Palestinian telecommunications operator Paltel

Early Friday, the AFP was unable to contact members of its team it was trying to reach in the Gaza Strip where, according to the agency, UN, 1.65 of the 2.4 million inhabitants have been displaced by the war.

We have no electricity, no drinking water, no food […] Thousands of women, children, sick and wounded are in danger of death, Hamas Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidreh told AFP.

On the night of Thursday to Friday, American Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Benny Gantz, tenor of the Israeli opposition who joined Mr. Netanyahu, on efforts to increase much-needed humanitarian aid and speed up passage to Gaza, according to Washington.

With winter fast approaching, poor and overcrowded shelters, and a lack of clean water, civilians face an immediate risk of starvation.

A quote from the Program Communiqué United Nations World Food Program (WFP)

In Israel, pressure is increasing on Prime Minister Netanyahu over the hostage issue. A march of their relatives, which left Tel Aviv on Tuesday to demand an agreement on their release, is due to arrive in Jerusalem on Friday. Talks for their release are being held through mediation by Qatar.

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Relatives of the hostages march from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to demand an agreement on their release.

The head of diplomacy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, called for the immediate release of the hostages during a visit Thursday in Beeri, where at least 85 people were killed and around thirty others kidnapped on October 7.

For the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Choukri, who says he is in contact with Hamas, with other international parties concerned and with Israel, the current negotiations are very delicate.

Israel has so far refused any ceasefire without prior release of the hostages. But for the exiled leader of Hamas, Ismaïl Haniyeh, Israel has achieved none of its objectives and will only obtain the release of its prisoners at the price that the resistance sets.


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