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Israel raids main Gaza hospital

1 min

Israeli forces said on Thursday they had raided the biggest functioning hospital in Gaza as footage showed chaos, shouting and gunfire in dark corridors filled with dust and smoke.

The Hamas uses hospitals as command centers, Reuters/Mohammed Salem

Israeli forces said on Thursday they had raided the biggest functioning hospital in Gaza as footage showed chaos, shouting and gunfire in dark corridors filled with dust and smoke.

Israel's military called the raid on Nasser Hospital "precise and limited" and said it was based on information that Hamas militants were hiding and had kept hostages in the facility, with some bodies of captives possibly there.

Hamas called that lies.

Health authorities in the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave said Israel had forced out dozens of staff, patients, displaced people and families of medical staff sheltering in the hospital. Some 2,000 Palestinians arrived in the southern border city of Rafah overnight while others pushed north to Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza, they said.

In a new operation, the Israeli military said it carried out an air strike that killed a Hamas commander who had participated in the Oct. 7 attack. He had also held captive a female Israeli soldier who was executed by Hamas, the military said.

Israel accuses Hamas of regularly using hospitals, ambulances and other medical facilities for military purposes, and has aired footage taken by its troops that it says shows tunnels containing weapons below some hospitals.

The Israeli military said it apprehended various suspects at Nasser Hospital and that its operations there were continuing.

Speaking about the hospital raid, Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said "this sensitive operation was prepared with precision and is being conducted by IDF special forces who underwent specified training".

One objective of the operation was to ensure the hospital could continue treating Gazan patients and "we communicated this in a number of conversations we had with the hospital staff," he said, adding there was no obligation to evacuate.

Hagari said Israel had arranged the transfer of medical supplies and fuel to the hospital in coordination with international organizations.

By James Mackenzie and Nidal al-Mughrabi

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