In a post on the social media platform X, Doctors Without Borders, or Medecins Sans Frontieres, said, “The attacks against Al-Shifa hospital have dramatically intensified. Our staff at the hospital have reported a catastrophic situation inside.”
On Saturday, Palestinian security sources said the Israeli army has besieged the Al-Shifa hospital amid heavy clashes with the Palestinian militants in the territory.
Local eyewitnesses said they heard massive explosions during the night before from violent armed clashes between Israeli army forces and militants of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in several areas of Gaza City, especially in the vicinity of the Al-Shifa hospital.
Explaining the hospital’s situation in a video statement on X, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) denied shooting and siege on the hospital, adding that the east side of the hospital remained open.
In the statement, IDF’s Head of the Coordination and Liaison Administration for Gaza Moshe Tetro acknowledged that “there are clashes between IDF troops and Hamas terrorist operatives around the hospital,” but said “everyone who wants to leave can do it,” noting he had contacted the hospital director to coordinate with the safe evacuation of “anyone who wants to leave the hospital”.
Israel has previously said that “the main command center of Hamas is located under the Al-Shifa hospital”.
Established in 1946, the medical complex is the largest health institution in the Gaza Strip. It includes three specialised hospitals and employs 25 per cent of hospital workers across the strip.