Israeli troops bomb and attack main operational hospital in Gaza | International

This Thursday, the Israeli army attacked and occupied the Naser hospital in Khan Younis, the main still operational center of Gaza’s struggling health network. The health authorities, controlled by Hamas, and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) denounced these bombings, which left people dead and injured, even if their number has not yet been determined. Israel acknowledges that its troops are operating at the Nasser Hospital as part of the campaign to end Hamas and because it believes the facilities could have been used to hold hostages. Even, they add, some bodies of those kidnapped and already deceased could be found in the facilities, although until now they have not presented evidence. Deaths in Gaza due to Israeli attacks since the start of the war on October 7 total nearly 29,000, the vast majority women and children.

Some doctors and witnesses were able to record the moments following certain impacts. In the videos, you can see hallways and rooms filled with smoke and staff transferring some patients from one location to another. In several images, soldiers are also seen inside the hospital with dozens of people kneeling, made up of both health workers and other civilians.

The attack came after Israel ordered the evacuation of thousands of people from the hospital last Tuesday. The bombing reported by MSF occurred in the early hours of Thursday, “despite the fact that Israeli forces had told medical staff and patients that they could stay in the center,” the humanitarian organization reported in a communicated. The NGO adds that the troops are carrying out operations inside the installations and that its team had to flee, leaving patients behind. One member of the mission was arrested by the Israeli army and another remains missing. They describe a “chaotic situation, with an unknown number of dead and injured”.

Screenshots from Al Naser Hospital in Khan Yunis, showing men blocking a door and injured people being treated by hospital staff.@mohammedharar/Reuters

During the attack, Israel also used drones which, according to Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qedra, fired on the surgery ward on the third floor, injuring one of the doctors. . The facilities, according to this source, were transformed into military barracks, after troops demolished the southern wall, even forcing doctors to abandon patients in the intensive care wing. The operation also affected ambulances, tents where displaced populations are sheltering and even graves where bodies were buried due to the impossibility of transferring them to cemeteries.

Join EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.


This is an operation that the special forces are carrying out with “precision”, explained in a video the spokesperson for the Israeli army, Daniel Hagari, specifying that they did not force the evacuation of the ‘hospital.

For its part, the Palestinian Red Crescent “firmly rejected the accusations made by the Israeli occupying forces” according to which “20 terrorists disguised as medical personnel” had been arrested on February 9 in another hospital in Gaza, Al Amal, as they broke into its premises. This organization acknowledges that nine members of its team who had worked for it for years and nine patients who could not be evacuated were arrested. Al Amal, along with other hospitals such as Shifi and Rantisi, is among the health centers in Gaza that were attacked and taken over by Israeli troops, who claim that these places were used by Hamas.

It was revealed Thursday that the head of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), William Burns, traveled to Israel on Wednesday from Egypt, where attempts by negotiating countries to reach a ceasefire continue. fire. Burns met, according to several Israeli media, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the head of Mossad (foreign spy service), David Barnea, to try to resolve the Israeli president’s refusal to continue holding meetings in the Egyptian capital. to achieve a cessation of hostilities.

Khan Younis, in the south of the Gaza Strip, has been militarily occupied since the end of last year and the Israeli army considers the town an Islamist stronghold. He even places in the tunnels dug in this city the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Yahia Sinwar, of whom he showed this week a video of the first days of the war with certain members of his family. During these months of conflict, Israeli forces were on the verge of capturing him several times, according to the local press, which reported the discovery of some of his personal items, such as a toothbrush. Sinwar is considered the intellectual responsible for the attacks that left some 1,200 people dead in Israel on October 7, opening the spigot to the current war.

A dozen kilometers south of Khan Yunis is the town of Rafah, where more than a million people, most of them displaced without shelter, are crowding along the Egyptian border without being able to flee further. The enormous humanitarian crisis due to the lack of food, water, medicine or shelter due to Israel’s blockade of the Palestinian enclave has raised alarms with the announcement of a troop incursion in Rafah, the only area they have left to occupy. …from Gaza.

To try to stop this operation, the results of which would be catastrophic, according to the UN and various humanitarian organizations, the three main mediator countries (United States, Qatar and Egypt) maintain delegations in Cairo to try to obtain a cease-fire. fire. Until now, the positions of Hamas and Israel remain very far apart. This cessation of hostilities, which Washington intends to last six weeks, would make it possible to exchange Hamas hostages for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, as already happened in the last week of November, and would at the same time give more latitude to try to end the quarrel.

Follow all international news on Facebook And Xor in our weekly newsletter.

Subscribe to continue reading

Read without limits