Israel besieges, storms al-Shifa Hospital

A group of destroyed buildings against a cloudy sky

Israeli airstrikes targeted residential buildings as well as al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on Monday. 

Naaman Omar APA images

Israeli soldiers invaded and besieged the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City at dawn on Monday.

It was the fourth time that the largest medical facility in the Gaza Strip was attacked since October.

According to the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza, Israeli forces bombed the specialized surgeries building, setting it ablaze.

Approximately 30,000 displaced Palestinians who have been sheltering at the medical complex were trapped. Israeli airstrikes targeted people as they tried to escape the incursion while soldiers ordered them to flee to the south.
Israeli snipers and armed quadcopters inside the hospital shot those who tried to move, the health ministry reported. At least 150 Palestinians were arrested.
Daniel Hagari, the Israeli military spokesperson, claimed that the soldiers “found weapons and money” inside the medical complex during the invasion.

During the raid on al-Shifa, Israeli forces assassinated Faiq Al-Mabhouh, the commander of Gaza’s civilian police unit.

Al-Mabhouh had led recent coordination efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to the northern Gaza Strip, which Israel has been actively thwarting for months as its snipers and tank gunners repeatedly massacre Palestinians awaiting the deliveries.
Some Twitter/X users remarked that the assassination of Al-Mabhouh was in retaliation for his successful coordination of the shipment of flour.
Echoing their previous and unfounded claims to justify the bombing of al-Shifa hospital, the Israeli army claimed that al-Mabhouh was a “senior Hamas operative” who was hiding inside the al-Shifa hospital complex “from which he was working to advance terror activity,” according to Emmanuel Fabian, a reporter with the Times of Israel.

Israel arrests journalists

Al Jazeera Arabic reporter Ismail al-Ghoul was arrested and kidnapped by Israeli forces during the raid, along with other journalists. He was released 12 hours later.

While he was detained, he said he and the other journalists were beaten, stripped naked, blindfolded and interrogated.

Israeli forces also used bulldozers to destroy tents belonging to reporters inside the al-Shifa complex as well as their broadcasting vehicles.

Al Jazeera and the Committee to Protect Journalists had demanded his release earlier in the day.

Al-Ghoul told Al Jazeera upon his release from Israeli detention that during the dawn raid, Israeli soldiers “started by destroying media equipment and arresting journalists gathered in a room used by media teams.”

Soldiers stripped the reporters, blindfolded them, tied their hands and then forced them to lie on their stomachs. If any of them moved, he told Al Jazeera, the soldiers would shoot their guns to scare them.

“After waiting in line for investigation, an elderly man was released from inside the hospital and he needed help to leave the compound, the journalist said, adding that he volunteered to help the man and was able to accompany him until they both left the compound,” Al Jazeera reported.

Some of the other journalists who were taken and detained by Israeli troops along with Al-Ghoul have been released, but Al-Ghoul did not know the whereabouts of the others.




If Hamas disappeared from the face of the earth this moment, twenty years from now, Israel would be killing Palestinians they would call Hamas "operatives". Evil is its own justification.
Never forget, never forgive, hunt them until the day they die, then bring them to justice, these Zionist murderers.

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Nora Barrows-Friedman

Nora Barrows-Friedman's picture

Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer and associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, and is the author of In Our Power: US Students Organize for Justice in Palestine (Just World Books, 2014).