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Al-Shifa: Israeli soldiers withdraw from hospital, but maintain siege

November 16, 2023 at 9:30 am

Israeli soldiers leave for Gaza in their armoured fighting vehicle on in Southern Israel on 15 November, 2023 [Christopher Furlong/Getty Images]

Israeli occupation forces withdrew from Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on Wednesday, but maintained their tight siege around the complex. According to a local source, Israeli tanks and snipers are deployed around the hospital, and drones fly above it constantly.

The Israeli troops stormed into the hospital at dawn yesterday, after besieging it for six days. They entered the surgical and emergency buildings. Patients and medical staff were told to move to the centre of the eastern courtyard while soldiers blew up internal doors and moved through the departments. Areas around the hospital were shelled by the tanks.

Medical sources added that the Israeli occupation forces placed facial recognition cameras and electronic gates in the hospital courtyard, and forced displaced people to take off their clothes before detaining them. Doctors, patients and displaced persons were interrogated. A number of the latter, as well as family members of the martyrs and wounded, were arrested as the occupation troops still refused to let the burial of the dead take place in the square outside the hospital.

In a brief press statement, Palestinian Authority Minister of Health Mai Al-Kaila held the Israeli occupation forces fully responsible for the lives of the medical staff, patients and displaced people in Al-Shifa Hospital complex. She also warned of catastrophic consequences for patients and medical staff due to the army’s raid.

READ: Services at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital grind to halt after Israeli raid