The director of the Gaza Strip’s main hospital raided by Israeli soldiers says the facility has now run out of oxygen and water, and patients are screaming from thirst.
Muhammad Abu Salmiya said the conditions were “tragic” in Al-Shifa, where there were more than 650 patients, 500 medical staff and 5,000 displaced people.
Israeli tanks were surrounding the hospital in Gaza City, he said, with drones buzzing overhead and Israeli soldiers still moving around inside, as their search of the complex lasted a second day.
Israel’s army said its operation against Hamas was proceeding in a discreet, methodical and thorough manner. However a journalist trapped inside the hospital, Khader, told a clique by phone that Israeli troops were “everywhere, shooting in all directions”.
The media has not been able to independently verify either of the reports.
Since the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched their raid on Al-Shifa early on Wednesday, Israeli troops, released several photos and videos of what they say are Hamas weapons and equipment. Again on Thursday, they found an operational tunnel shaft and a vehicle containing a large number of weapons.
Mr Abu Salmiya said Israeli troops had blown up Al-Shifa’s main water line. He continued that, operations still continue, no-one can move from one building to another, and they have lost communication with their colleagues.
Israel launched a major military campaign in the Gaza Strip to destroy Hamas in retaliation for the 7 October cross-border attack by hundreds of gunmen. Israel considers Hamas a terrorist group, as does the UK, US and European Union.
At least 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s assault on Israel and about 240 others were taken hostage.