Israeli troops stormed into Gaza’s biggest hospital on Wednesday, November 15, engaging the Hamas militants at the gates in a gun battle. The IDF soldiers killed several militants outside the Hospital, as the witness described gun shooting around and at the hospital before the IDF. Israeli tanks and military vehicles rumbled inside the hospital’s courtyard.
The IDF soldiers were reportedly searching the rooms and basement witnesses said. The hospital was already under siege by the IDF troops and was cut off from the rest of the city. In a statement, IDF stated that it had begun “a precise and targeted operation against Hamas in a specified area in the Shifa Hospital.” The IDF Spokesperson told CNN that the operation at Al-Shifa Hospital was ongoing. Israeli radio reported that, so far, the IDF has found no indication of hostages inside the hospital.
“We can now confirm that incubators, baby food and medical supplies, provided by the IDF, have successfully reached the hospital. Our medical team and Arabic speaking soldiers are on the ground to ensure that these supplies reach those in need,” IDF shared on X.
The IDF claims that Hamas fighters have their headquarters in tunnels beneath the Al-Shifa hospital. Hamas, on the other hand, denies the claim. The US said it has intelligence backing the IDF’s claim that Hamas has a command center under Al-Shifa Hospital. Hamas accuses the US had effectively given a “green light” for Israel to raid the Al-Shifa hospital. Hamas said it held that Israel and US President Joe Biden fully responsible for the operation.
In the past few days, reports have emerged that the conditions inside the hospital are catastrophic including desperate efforts to keep premature babies alive and limited procedures taking place by candlelight. “There is no more water, food, milk for children and babies … the situation in the hospital is catastrophic,” Mohammad Abu Salmiya- Director of the hospital told CNN on November 13. There are reports that dozens of corpses are set to be buried in a mass grave in the yard of the hospital complex. “The scene is horrifying, the smell of the dead people is unbearable, most of the bodies are of women and children,” a journalist was quoted by CNN.