Since soldiers aided the hospital on Wednesday in search of a command center they claim to be run by the militant group Hamas, Al-Shifa hospital has become the focal point for Israeli operations in northern Gaza.
There is international concern over the thousands of people who are thought to be trapped inside, including injured patients and unborn children, despite Hamas and hospital administrators ‘ denials of that accusation.
In response to the group’s attack on October 7, which resulted in 1,200 deaths—most of them civilians—and the capture of about 240 people, Israel has vowed to eradicate the Hamas.
According to Hamas-run local authorities in Gaza, Israel’s airbombardment and ground operations have claimed the lives of 11,500 people, including thousands of children.
An AFPTV live camera captured the thick, dark smoke that was rising over the northern Gaza Strip on Friday.
Israeli authorities have defended their operation, and the military claimed to have discovered explosives, ammunition, rifles at Al-Shifa, as well as the tunnel shaft’s entrance, on Thursday.
Hostages may have even been held at a theme park, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
One of the reasons we entered the hospital, he told “CBS Evening News,” was because” we had strong indications that they were held in the Shifa Hospital.”
He claimed that if they were ( there ), they had been removed.
Communications with the GazaStrip were once again cut off on Friday, despite unconfirmed allegations about the hospital.
All telecommunications were down, according to network provider Paltel Group, because “fuel was not permitted and all energy sources supporting the network have been depleted.”
The UN forewarned that the blackout would worsen civilian suffering, make it harder to provide aid, and possibly lead to supply theft.
According to Philippe Lazzarini, director of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA,” when you have a blackout and you are unable to communicate with anyone anymore, that causes and fuels even more anxiety and panic.”
” Immediate possibility of starvation”
The army announced on Friday that troops had found the remains of kidnapped woman-soldier Noa Marciano, 19, “from a structure adjacent to Al-Shifahospital,” according to Israel, who claimed that its forces were searching the city “one building at the time.”
The army had confirmed Marciano’s death earlier this week without disclosing the reason. She was reportedly killed during an Israeli bombardment, according to Hamas.
The body of another hostage was discovered by the army’s said soldiers on Thursday close to Al-Shifa.
Yehudit Weiss, 65, was abducted from her home in Beeri’s border kibbutz neighborhood, one of the areas hardest hit by the brutal Hamas attack.
According to a hostage support group, her husband died in the attack.
Jews and Arabs gathered on Thursday to attend the funeral of peace activist Vivian Silver, who was hailed as an “extraordinarywoman” and another victim of the Beeri attack.
In exchange for a break in fighting, negotiations are currently underway for the release of the hostages, some of whom are only infants.
Egypt’s foreign minister referred to the discussions as “very delicate” on Thursday in Qatar, where Hamashas ‘ political offices are located.
Sameh Shoukry stated,” We are hopeful that our efforts and those of others will result in the speedy release.”
UN agencies have issued a warning that conditions for Palestinian civilians on the ground are rapidly deteriorating.
According to World Food Programme executive director Cindy McCain, more than 1.5 million people have been internally displaced, and Israel’s blockade of the area means that” civilians are facing the immediate possibility of starvation.”
According to the agency, food and water are now “practically nonexistent.”
Lazzarini said that kids “pleading for a sip of water or for an aloaf of bread” would seek refuge at an UN school.
” Settler violence”
Israel has announced the seizure of the parliament building, government buildings, Hamaspolice headquarters, and a significant port in the northern Gaza Strip. 51 of its soldiers, according to the report, were killed in battle.
Hospitals have become a particular target, and Israel claims to have discovered tunnels or military equipment at the Al-Shifa, Rantisi facilities.
The Palestinian Red Crescent claimed that due to explosions and gunfire, medical staff were unable to reach patients in the courtyard of the Al-Ahli hospital, which was under attack, according to Palestinian health officials.
Israel has claimed that Hamas is using hospitals as command centers, and Washington has urged “extreme caution” in all operations.
According to the Hamas-run health ministry, Israel’s raid on Al-Shifa severely damaged the radiology, burns, and dialysis unit. As a result of combat, damage, or shortages, more than half of Gaza hospitals are no longer operational.
In addition to the conflict in Gaza, there is a rise in worries about violence in the Israeli-occupied WestBank, where Israeli settlers have intensified their hostilities against Palestinians.
At a checkpoint leading into Jerusalem from the West Bank on Thursday, three gunmen killed an Israeli soldier and injured five others in an attack that Hamas claimed to have launched.
Conflict broke out overnight after a sizable Israeli troop deployment raided the Jenin refugee camp, according to AFP reporters. The Israeli military made no comment right away.
According to the State Department, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Israel to “de-escalate tensions in the West Bank” by dealing with rising levels of settler extremist violence on Thursday.
Israeli warplanes also hit targets in other areas close to the Syrian capital, according to a state news agency in Syria. There were no reports of casualties, but the strikes did cause damage.